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It was nothing Sally Butters ever expected, not after nine long years, but incredibly — her little dog has come home.

Gigi went missing nearly a decade ago when Butters’ California home was burglarized in August of 2007; the theory was that she’d gotten out. Butters, now 78, papered the neighborhood with “missing dog” flyers, but to no avail. It seemed Gigi was gone for good.

But then a woman found her, a dirty little thing that vets reported suffered from a double ear infection and fur so badly matted that her tail was virtually glued to one of her back legs. Staffers at the Citrus Heights Pet Hospital speculated she had been living on the streets, possibly for years. One staffer called her “the sweetest little dog in the world.”

Reba Hunt, whose daughter found Gigi, fell in love instantly. She hoped to adopt her, but wanted to be sure no one else was missing the teacup pooch.

“She’s so precious. Just like a miniature doll baby,” Hunt told the Sacramento Bee. “I was all ready to keep her, but I needed to find out whether she had someone who loved her as much as I did. Even more.”

Sally Butters snuggles little Gigi, the toy poodle who went missing nine years ago. Photo: SacBee

The hospital scanned the pup’s body for a microchip, which yielded contact information for Butters. A reunion was scheduled.

Hunt brought Gigi to the hospital dressed in a pink sweater and presented her to Butters, who said she cried tears of joy and disbelief. Hunt cried, too, as did a few members of the veterinary team.

“I can’t imagine where she’s been, but I know that she wasn’t taken care of very well,” Butters said.

She said Gigi came home just in time for her upcoming birthday and Christmas.

“It’s the best present I could ever have asked for,” she said.

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