Woman And Shih Tzu Reunited After 6 Years Apart


When Virginia Bell answered her phone in Manatee County, Florida, she heard some unusual news. The person on the other end of the phone said that they had her dog, Spanky. At first, she thought someone had kidnapped her pup, but when she called the dog’s name, her Yorkie, Spanky, came running to her.

Bell hung up on the “scammer”. But then, she realized that they might’ve been talking about a different Spanky. 6 years ago, she had lost a Shih Tzu also named Spanky. She had given her Yorkie the same name years later in the lost dog’s honor.

Spanky the Shih Tzu

Spanky the Shih Tzu mix went missing about 6 years ago. Bell thought the pup either ran away or was stolen, but either way, Spanky was nowhere to be found. Bell and her family searched for years, trying to find Spanky, but they had no luck. As years went by, Bell began to come to the realization that her beloved pup wasn’t coming home.

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So, when Patty Giarrusso with Lost Pet Services, Inc. called saying she had Spanky, Bell instantly feared the worst. She thought that they had stolen her second dog named Spanky, but she didn’t even consider that they could’ve found the dog she’d lost so many years ago. After she thought about it for a while, she called Giarrusso back. Sure enough, they were referring to Spanky the Shih Tzu. Bell couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

Lost Pet Services checked Spanky’s microchip, and it was still linked to Bell’s current information. A woman named Heather Von Seggern had spotted Spanky while walking her Golden Retriever. Spanky was in rough shape, but Von Seggern thought someone might be looking for him. So, she brought him home with her.

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Spanky Comes Home!

When Von Seggern found Spanky, she said the dog trotted over to sniff her Golden Retriever. Poor Spanky looked like he had been abused or neglected. His hair was matted and full of fleas. His nails were also overgrown. It’s unclear where he had been all this time, but it seems like his time alone was not positive.

“This is a little emotional,” said Von Seggern. “That little dog looked so lost. Taking him home felt like the right thing to do. I couldn’t imagine leaving him there.”

Image: Virginia Rose Bell Facebook

Spanky had a lot of recovering to do, but his family was happy to welcome him home. He was shy and fearful, even around his loved ones, so Bell knew that someone hadn’t been nice to him while he was away. She had to potty train him all over again and take him to the vet for a staph infection, dental problems, and crystallized urine. But Bell loved him just as much as she did when she lost him.

To avoid confusion, Bell changed the Shih-Tzu Spanky’s name to Gizmo. Luckily, he gets along well with the Yorkie named Spanky and with Bell’s other dog. Bell wishes she knew where Spanky had been all those years, but she’s overjoyed that he’s home. Lost Pet Services reminds dog parents that getting a microchip for their dogs is the best way to prevent them from getting lost. If it weren’t for Spanky’s microchip, he might’ve never found his family again.

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