Dog missing 5 years reunited with owner

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HARRISBURG -- Tootsie, the adventuresome dachshund who went missing more than five years ago, is on his way back home to Pleasantville, N.J.

Tootsie was found two weeks ago wandering around Wilkinsburg. He was taken to the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania and was traced back to his owners using a microchip implanted in his neck.

"Donde estaba?" -- Where have you been? -- his owner Elda Arguello said as she wrapped Tootsie in her scarf outside a television studio in Harrisburg -- the halfway point between Pleasantville and Wilkinsburg. Tifanie Tibero of the rescue league delivered Tootsie to her there. The dog was shivering from the cold but appeared content in Mrs. Arguello's arms.

The family believes the dog was taken from their gated yard more than five years ago.

"I looked for him for many, many days," said Mrs. Arguello, who brought along her children Edna Colon, 18, and Daniel Colon Jr., 16.

So much time had passed that when the rescue league sent her a letter several days ago she hadn't remembered losing a dog.

"I said, 'What about Tootsie?,' " Daniel remembered. "I just put that out there but I didn't really think they could have really found her five and a half years later."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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