Dogs are human’s best friends, meaning they become family when we adopt them. So, if they go missing, it can leave us heartbroken and afraid. In 2009, the Hansons’ lost their two pitbulls. Against all odds, they never gave up and never stopped looking for their two missing dogs. 8 years later, a miracle happened: they finally found their furry friends. Read on to discover this incredible story!
Meet The Hansons
Sophia Hanson, a San Antonio resident, is a dog lover – she owned two Pit bulls, Laila and her brother Blake. Both great dogs, they loved their mother and playing outside in the family’s big yard. However, one fateful day in 2009 turned the family’s world upside down…
One morning, Hanson let out the dogs, just like every other day. However, when she checked on them a short while later, Hanson could not see Laila or Blake. Hanson’s heart dropped, and she immediately went looking for them. Did someone steal them? A large fence surrounded the yard, with no open door or gate; it couldn’t have been that the dogs just jumped over it. Hanson said, “There was nothing. They were both just gone.”
Months went by, but Hanson and her husband never stopped looking for Laila and Blake. They searched the nearby streets, local dog shelters, shared posts online – but nothing turned up. After a year, they came across a Craiglist post. The listing advertised a pit bull that looked identical to Blake, for $500. The couple contacted the seller and didn’t give out any details. “We went in pretending like, ‘Oh, we’re just going to buy a dog.’ We had our money ready.”
Luckily, it was Blake! They found him chained up and miserable, but, thankfully, he recognized the Hansons and went home with them. It took months to rehabilitate Blake; Hanson reckons Blake went through some sort of abuse. This whole incident confirmed Hanson’s biggest fears and hopes. On one hand, someone likely stole Lalia and Blake. However, on the other hand, it meant the Hansons also still had a chance to find Lalia.
The Fateful Phone Call
One night in February 2019, 8 years after losing Laila, the Hansons settled in for a regular evening. As they prepared for bed, Mr. Hanson received a phone call that changed their life: someone found Laila, just 40 miles away. The couple absolutely could not wait one minute longer, so they jumped in the car and drove off. When they arrived, there was no question. Even though nearly a decade had passed, the owners instantly recognized them. And Laila recognized them too!
Hanson said, “She just responded to me right away, like, ‘Is that you?’ And then, oh my God, everyone was crying, and it was a mess.”
However, one question remained: What happened to Laila over those 8 years?
We’ll likely never know all of Laila’s story. However, the end is quite astonishing: Janice Rackley saw a stray dog in 2018 in a field near her house. The malnourished pit bull clearly did not have a home. Thankfully, Rackley stepped up to the plate and took care of the dog. For six months, she left out food and water for the pit bull until she trusted Rackley enough to allow her near.
Rackley recalled, “I think it was about six months in when she finally started coming closer and closer, and she finally let me pet her. So I thought, ‘Maybe I could grab a leash since she’s letting me pet her, and I can get the leash on while I’m feeding her.’ But whenever she would see this leash, she would take off running.”
Half a year passed, and the dog finally let Rackley near her. “I just picked her up, threw her over my shoulder and I walked her 40 feet through this field to get her to my car. She was actually very calm when I picked her up, she was so sweet about it.”
As Rackley took care of the dog, Laila’s personality began to shine through. Soon, Rackley realized that she must have an owner, somewhere. So, Rackley took Laila to get her chip scanned – revealing her owners. Afterward, she contacted the Hansons to arrange the beautiful reunion.
A Happy Ending, 8 Years Later
After 8 years, the reunion was sweet and emotional, making everyone cry. The Hansons are incredibly grateful for Rackley and consider her their guardian angel. Nowadays, Laila is back at home and re-adjusting, she’s also blossoming. The Hansons also adopted another dog, and the three dog siblings are a happy little bunch.
Hanson said, “We still can’t believe it. Sometimes we walk by her, and we have to do a double take. It’s extremely surreal. She’s in the same chair, in the same spot, laying in her same silly upside-down position. And it’s just funny to see her so comfortable — I can’t even imagine what she’s been through.”