Missing Panhandle dog shows up after 9 years

CRESTVIEW, Fla. – A missing dog is back with its family nine years after breaking out of their back yard in Crestview.

April Hight received a call from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society called to let her know that animal control workers had picked up their Lhasa Apso named Maggie on Tuesday. A microchip provided contact information for Maggie's owners.

"It's just a gift to have her back," Hight told the Northwest Florida Daily News. "She'll be able to live out the rest of her years loved and cared for and that'll make up for the hopefully not all horrible years she had to live through to get back home."

Hight and her daughter Abigayle, who was 4 when Maggie ran away, picked up the almost 11-year-old dog on Wednesday. Maggie's hair was matted but a checkup showed no other major issues. But Hight says Maggie is "skin and bones."

"You try to picture what her life might have been like," Hight said. "It's hard to fathom or imagine."

While Maggie was quiet at first, she recognized Hight's husband and immediately began wagging her tail.

The Hights are foster parents and they've enjoyed watching children "blossom" under their care. She says they look forward to the same thing with Maggie."You can see that little spark in her, that little light in her," she said.