Two months ago, Lupe Llanes never thought she would see her 7–year–old Chihuahua mix again.
Llanes had let Bailey out in the backyard of her Calumet City home. When she returned to let him back in, he was gone.
For more than a month, she searched for her beloved pet, hoping he would reappear just as suddenly as he had disappeared. But as time wore on, hope began to fade.
Then, on Jan. 21, Llanes opened the newspaper and saw her dog staring back at her.
Bailey was featured in the Times as a pet of the week — a weekly listing of available pets through local animal shelters and rescue organizations.
Despite being listed as "Terrance," Llanes said she knew she had found Bailey.
"I was 100 percent sure it was him," she said. "Just by looking at his face, I knew it was him. If they had never put him in there, I never would have known."
Bailey was found as a stray in Lansing and brought to the Humane Society Calumet Area in Munster on Nov. 29. He quickly became a favorite of the shelter staff, and after no one came forward to claim him, Bailey was put up for adoption so he could find a new home.
Renamed Terrance, the Chihuahua mix was dressed in a sweater and photographed. Just four days before he appeared in the newspaper, a family nearly adopted him, shelter officials said.
"On the day that the picture appeared in the paper, a woman called and said she saw the picture and thought that was her dog," said Kathy Hughes, adoption counselor at the Humane Society. "I asked her when he was lost and how old he was, and both answers coincided with what we had on him."
Llanes rushed to the shelter, bringing with her pictures of Bailey and shot records from her veterinarian. "I went and got Terrance and brought him in the room," Hughes said. "When he saw her, he went insane — jumping in her lap, screaming and kissing her all over. She was equally excited to see her little dog."
Llanes says she's grateful to the shelter staff for caring for her pet for nearly two months. She plans to visit the shelter and volunteer her time.
"They took really good care of him," she said. "I'm just glad. I'm excited I got him back."