Kelly Booker, Lily and Booker’s son
Associated Press

Kelly Booker has no idea whether his dog was stolen or ran away four years ago on the Fourth of July, but the Denver man is happy to have his 9-year-old shih tzu, Lily, home. Lily was found in Elgin, Ill., nowhere near her Denver home. Booker says the last time he saw his dog was on July 4, 2011, when he placed her in the backyard.

“Kids were outside popping fireworks. We went looking for her and she was gone. It was like a child that went missing,” Booker told the Associated Press.

Booker and his 10-year-old son were reunited with Lily on Thursday, and the dog immediately recognized her owner.

“Where have you been, Lily? Where have you been?” Booker asked Lily.

Lily was rescued by the folks at the Almost Home Foundation, who got her healthy again. Thankfully Booker had a microchip in the dog, which is how the group traced her back to the family. But no one knows how she made it to Illinois.