A dog is back with her family after she was stolen from her Texas home almost five years ago.
The German shepherd named Sheba reunited with her family in Baytown, Texas, on Sunday, CBS Austin reported.
On the day, Sheba's family waited eagerly for the plane carrying their beloved dog from the Texas panhandle to land, even decorating the airport with a poster that read, "Welcome home Sheba."
Before this reunion, the last time the family was together was in 2018. In January of that year, someone stole Sheba from the Malmstrom family's front yard. The family searched their neighborhood near Houston and beyond in hopes of recovering the dogs, but never had any luck figuring out who took the dog or where she ended up.
"I remember just searching every day, every night. It was really sad when we had to keep searching for her but we never found her," said Anniston Malmstrom to CBS Austin, who was only 3 years old when Sheba was taken.
All of that changed on Aug. 1, 2022, when animal control officer Jared Harper found Sheba in Borger, Texas, over 600 miles from where the Malmstroms live. Harper scanned the dog, who he found roaming around alone, for a microchip and found one loaded with the Malmstrom family's contact information.
At the reunion, Stephanie Malmstrom, the dog's owner, and her family were emotional. Sheba recognized her family after just a few minutes, CBS Austin reported.
"Their emotions are all over the place. They're so excited, and I don't think my 8-year-old understands that you can cry when you're happy," said Stephanie to CBS Austin.
Stephanie added that Sheba remembers all the commands the family taught her before her disappearance.
"Five years later, she still remembers her name and German commands," Stephanie said to ABC 13 after she reconnected with the dog.
As for what happened to Sheba during those years away from home, some pieces of the puzzle remain unclear.
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"Whoever stole her dumped her off in the Texan panhandle within two weeks, and this family adopted her and had her for four and a half years," Stephanie said to ABC 13.
Now back in her original home, Sheba is spending time reconnecting with her family, CBS Austin reported.