Five years ago, a beautiful blue-eyed Siberian Husky named Azula was stolen from Jezus Vigil’s backyard in Albuquerque.
“Five, six years now, we never thought we’d see her again,” said Jezus Vigil.
That is, until he got an unexpected call earlier this week.
“I don’t believe it, was really my first thought,” said Vigil.
The call came from Riverside, California. Azula had been taken to Riverside County Animal Services 750 miles away from home.
“A very nice person in Riverside found the dog,” said shelter staff in a video posted to their Facebook page.
Her microchip, the tell-tale sign, she was not from the Golden State. The shelter traced Azula back to Albuquerque and to the Vigil family.
“It brought her back to me,” said Vigil.
It wasn’t long before shelter staff put her in a crate and on a flight to New Mexico.
“My palms are sweaty,” said Vigil.
Two states over, Vigil waited anxiously at the Albuquerque airport.
“I hope she recognizes me. They say the sense of smell is closest in mind,” he said.
Vigil was just moments away from seeing his long lost friend.
“I’m incredibly nervous right now,” he said.
As soon as the gate for baggage claim opened with Azula in the crate, Vigil rushed to greet her.
“Hi, you little good girl. How are you?” he said to Azula.
It’s a moment, Vigil never thought he’d have, and an embrace so dear, it’s almost like they’d never been apart.
“I’m overjoyed,” said Vigil.
The Riverside shelter made all the arrangements to get Azula back to her family, and because of that Jezus Vigil made a large donation to the ASPCA as his way of saying thanks.