Missing Black Lab Returns To Family After She Was Gone 10 Years Ten years ago, black Lab mix Abby ran away from home. Now, she has been reunited with her owner Debra Suierveld, who tells NPR's Scott Simon that Abby has fit right back in with the family.

10 Years After She Went Missing, A Black Lab Is Returned To Her Owners

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A dog named Abby is back from the dead. Abby, a black lab mix, wandered away from her home in Apollo, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh, ten years ago. Abby's owner Debra Suierveld and her children looked for their dog but couldn't find her, accepted her loss and had her declared deceased. But ten years later, they got a phone call from an animal shelter. Debra Suierveld joins us now from Apollo, Pa. Thanks so much for being with us.


SIMON: What did they say at the animal shelter?

SUIERVELD: Well, the Allegheny Animal Rescue called me. And they said, we have your dog. And I said that's impossible. And she said, well, we have your dog. It's a female black lab mix. And I also have a black lab mix at home. And she said wait a minute. We ran the chip. We have her dog. Her name is Abby. I was like, Abby? I said, I haven't seen Abby for ten years. So I was pretty shocked.

SIMON: How is Abby adjusting to life back with you? I mean, on top of everything else, it's been 10 years since she's been in that house. And your daughter, I gather, was - what? - 12 years old, right?

SUIERVELD: That's correct, yes. She settled right in. I'd say the first night - I have other dogs. And they were all lying in the family room like they'd been spending the last few years together.

SIMON: Now may I ask. The daughter, who was not even a teenager when Abby left...


SIMON: ...Does Abby remember her? Does she remember Abby?

SUIERVELD: Well, that's to be seen. My daughter is at Miami University in Ohio. So she plans to come home. I think she said the weekend of the 22nd. That'll be a big reunion. She's excited. Abby was her favorite dog. Carly trained her and showed her tricks, and she still does them.


SUIERVELD: Yeah, it's crazy.

SIMON: When you called up Carly and said - I'm going to guess here - you won't believe this but...

SUIERVELD: (Laughter) She started laughing. And she was laughing so hard that I - by the end of the laugh, she was crying. She's like, I can't believe it. So yeah, she's real excited.

SIMON: Well, it's possible that more than one person knew that she was a great dog and took care of her and hoped that this reunion might happen someday.

SUIERVELD: I wouldn't be surprised. I mean - and I don't blame them for keeping her because she's just such a sweetheart. I just wish they had checked her for a chip because we would have had her back so much sooner.

SIMON: Yeah. Debra Suierveld from Apollo, Pa. - thanks so much.

SUIERVELD: Oh, thank you.


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