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SACRAMENTO — When Sally Butters lost her dog Gigi, she did what many of us would do: she put up posters, she searched the neighborhood, she worried and hoped.

The dog had gone missing during a burglary of Sally’s home. And no matter how hard she looked, Sally couldn’t find Gigi.

That was nine years ago. This week, Gigi was returned to her.

“I’m shocked. Because you always hope you’ll get your dog back. But you know, nine years, and at 13 years old, she’s still alive. What a Christmas present,” Butters said through tears.

The toy poodle had belonged to Butters’ mother. She remembers sneaking Gigi into the hospital in a gym bag the night her mom died, so that Gigi could sit on her lap. Butters had no idea what would happen that night, and that by sun-up Gigi would belong to her.

Fast forward to this week, 2016. A family found Gigi wandering in Roseville.

The dog had a microchip, and that’s what led veterinarians back to Butters.