By Wendy Widom
CHICAGO (CBS) — A teen expressed joy and relief after reuniting with her dog Sophie, a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix that had gone missing from the family’s backyard in late August.
Aliyah Lozano, 18, received Sophie, then six weeks old, as a gift for her sixteenth birthday. On Aug. 24, Aliyah’s mother Blanca Gutierrez told CBS 2 that she let out Sophie in a fenced in backyard to relieve herself.
When Gutierrez opened the door to call Sophie inside, she noticed the gate to the yard was knocked over. The dog was gone.
Distraught, Aliyah posted about a hundred flyers in the Berwyn neighborhood and for weeks received no word on Sophie’s whereabouts.
On Thursday, Sept. 12, Gutierrez told CBS 2 she saw an incoming call to her cellphone from an unknown number. She said the caller was a child who said Sophie had been found. (Gutierrez believes the child called because the adult did not speak English). Eventually, Gutierrez said an adult came to phone and restated, in Spanish, that they had the dog.
“I’m moving and I couldn’t call the police,” Gutierrez said the woman told her about why she did not follow up earlier.
Gutierrez picked up the dog and soon headed over to Aliyah’s work to surprise her. Aliyah opened the car door, wondering why her mother was holding a phone and recording a video. A look of surprise, relief and joy flooded across her face as she scooped Sophie into her arms.
“Look at who we got,” said Aliyah’s brother Ayden, who is six.
“My baby,” Aliyah exclaimed as her eyes settled on Sophie and her arms quickly scooped her up. “Who found you?”
These days, a family member keeps a watchful eye on Sophie when she is in the backyard. Gutierrez has advice for people who find lost animals: “If you find a pet, just turn them in. There is a family out there looking for their pet.”