Woman reunites with her dog two years after being told she was dead

It’s always heartbreaking to hear that your pet has passed away — but what if you found out, years later, that your pet was actually still alive and waiting for you?

That was the improbable story for one woman, who was overjoyed after reuniting with a dog she long thought dead.

Maile Trist adopted her dog Jazzy from the California Humane Society four years ago when she was 16, and it was love at first sight.

“I stuck my hand in the cage, and she automatically walked right up to me, tail wagging, and put her head in my hand,” she told The Dodo. “I started crying because I had found my dog!”

Facebook/Cowley County Humane Society

‘They told me she died’

But life and unusual circumstances soon broke up their beautiful friendship. Maile moved from California to Kansas, and decided to have a couple take care of Jazzy temporarily until she was settled.

But the couple had no intentions of giving Jazzy back, and prevented Maile from seeing her: “They blocked me,” she told Local 12. “I couldn’t contact them and finally, when I did find contact, they told me that she died.”

Maile was heartbroken — not only was her beloved dog dead, but she didn’t even get to be with her in her final moments.

An unexpected call

However, the story took an unexpected turn. This month, about a year and a half after Maile was told her dog was dead, she got a call from a shelter… saying they had her dog.

The Cowley County Humane Society, in Kansas, found a little dog in the rock quarry. The dog’s microchip said she had an owner in California, and they doubted they would be able to find her.

It turned out the owner was Maile, and the dog was Jazzy, “back from the dead,” so to speak. It’s not clear where Jazzy has been lately, but it seems the couple lied to Maile about the dog being dead so they could keep her.

Maile was stunned and overjoyed, not hesitating to go pick Jazzy up from the shelter. “I was crying and I was shaking because I was just so overjoyed that for one, she was still alive and for two, I could bring her finally home,” she told Local 12.

“I automatically headed home from my job and got in the car and headed to her,” she told The Dodo. “I was crying on and off the whole way there, which was almost a three-hour drive. I couldn’t believe she was still alive and I had no idea how she ended up that far away, but in those moments, I did not care.”

A sweet reunion

Despite the unusual circumstances that had kept them apart for so long, there was no love lost between Maile and Jazzy. After arriving at the shelter to pick her long-lost dog up, Jazzy ran right to her.


“She kind of went to sniff around, but came right back to me and gave me even more kisses,” Maile said. “She would not leave my lap or my arms the whole car ride home, either.”

It was an unexpected chance to make things right after such a heartbreaking situation. “Regretting giving her to those people and feeling so guilty about it… I’m so glad I finally got her back,” she told Local 12. “She is the sweetest baby.”


Jazzy is finally home, a little older but no less loving than when they last saw one another.

“She’s been so, so happy ever since and she will not leave my side or let me go anywhere without her,” Maile told The Dodo. “And I feel the same way!”

“I’m so glad she stayed loving through these last two years.”

Microchips work to get your babies back home! Sometimes even years later! This sweet old girl was found at the rock quarry in Cedar Vale. The finders brought her to us. We scanned and found a chip but the chip was registered in California. We were doubtful we could find the owner. We still attempted contact to find out the owner had moved to Salina two years ago. In the moving process, she had asked someone to watch her. They told her the dog had died, then cut off contact. She was in shock when she got messages that her baby was found! She immediately left and drove all the way from Salina to get her! Here we are almost 2 years since the owner was told she had died being returned very much alive and well! Please microchip your babies! We do microchipping by appointment for $25!

Posted by Cowley County Humane Society on Thursday, June 2, 2022

What an incredible story — it must’ve been so hard for Maile to think her dog was dead all this time, but it also must be incredible to have her back.

We know these two will be very happy together and make up for lost time!

Please share this incredible story! ❤️