HOUSTON -- It was a joyous reunion for one family and a devastating loss for another. The Miller family of Tyler, Texas, lost their beloved Maltese named Reese seven years ago.
This little Maltese dog has two names, depending on whom you ask. Reese, also known as Harley, went missing in Texas seven years ago. He was adopted by a family now living in Washington, but it looks like they won't get to keep him. VPC
The little white dog escaped while the Millers were visiting family in Balch Springs, Texas, just outside of Dallas.
Dinah Miller said she never stopped searching for her pet and never lost hope.
"Every time you hear a bark, you think, that sounds like Reese," explained Dinah Miller of Tyler, Texas. "We drove. We searched. We looked over fences. We peeped everywhere we could without getting shot."
Over the weekend, the Millers received a call that Reese had been found on a road in Tacoma, Washington. A microchip linked the dog to the family more than 2,000 miles away.
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The Maltese was flown to Bush Airport in Houston on Monday night where Dinah Miller was waiting with overwhelming excitement.
"How he got to Tacoma, we don't know. We may never know," said Miller.
Now, a family from Washington state is filling in the blanks. Kelli Davis of Spanaway, Washington, said her family adopted the dog at a shelter in Mesquite, Texas, near Dallas, six years ago.
She said the dog they named Harley was marked as an owner surrender.
"Harley is my daughter's best friend. That's her little buddy. They do everything together," said Kelli Davis.
Davis and her family relocated from Texas to Washington. She said Harley quickly become an integral member of the family. She said the dog recently escaped after her 2-year-old daughter unlatched the front door.
"We were running down the street trying to find him and she was crying my Harley ran away," said Davis. "Every day we have gone out and printed fliers and walked around the neighborhood several times a day calling his name."
Davis feels the dog belongs to her family now. She was heartbroken to learn that he was flown to Texas.
"I don't know what to do. We just lost a part of our family," added Davis.
Davis said she called the shelter where she adopted Harley from and asked if they had checked for a microchip when they adopted him out. However, she said the shelter purges its records after five years.
Davis is asking for the dog back, but Miller said that isn't happening.
Miller said the dog she has missed for so many years is back home and being treated like a king.
She told KHOU that her heart goes out to Davis. She also said that there is no way she is giving up the dog she has missed for so many years.
KHOU legal expert Gerald Treece said the dog legally belongs to Miller because she registered him first with a microchip.