WHEATON, Ill. — A whiff of her old blanket was enough for Lola: The black Lab was back in her owners' arms three years after the Michigan dog disappeared on a trip to suburban Chicago.
"I feel like I'm in a dream right now," Debra Mejeur said Saturday when she and her husband, Steve, were reunited with Lola at DuPage County Animal Services.
Lola vanished from a fenced yard in 2017 when the Mejeurs, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, were visiting a friend in Elk Grove Village.
The couple returned for about a month hoping to find a dog that was specially trained to help Debra Mejeur in case of a seizure. The Mejeurs posted notices, got help from volunteers and hired a professional pet searcher. No luck.
DuPage County authorities got a call last week from a couple in Glendale Heights who had noticed Lola the past few years going into a forest preserve. They had been leaving food for the dog and earned her trust.
A microchip revealed Lola's owners.
"I still had an ounce of hope, I guess, but the majority of me was thinking she had already crossed the rainbow bridge. I was just completely stunned," Debra Mejeur said.
Lola wagged her tail when she smelled her old blanket. Of course, no one knows how the dog survived for three years.
"If she could talk," Debra Mejeur said.