01/14/2013 08:53 pm ET

Lucky: Kidnapped Dog Reunited With Owner Marlene Bolivar After 5 Months (VIDEO)

LOS ANGELES -- When "Lucky," a 4-year-old Pomeranian pooch, disappeared last August, owner Marlene Bolivar wasn't too worried at first.

The tagged and microchipped pet had gone missing before, notes ABC News, and Bolivar's neighbors in Los Angeles, Calif. had returned Lucky in the end.

Bolivar's expectations changed when she received a call two days later from a woman who claimed to have Lucky. The woman, says Bolivar, asked how much reward money she'd get in exchange for returning the pet.

Bolivar offered $60 or $70, but the amount apparently wasn't enough for the caller.

“She said, ‘Well, let me talk to the people that have a dog that looks like your dog and see what they say and I’ll call you back,’ and I never got a call back,” Bolivar said to ABC News. “That’s when I kind of, like, lost hope that I was going to see him, because I knew somebody had my dog.”

Little did Bolivar know that Lucky would prove true to his name. Five months later, she received a call from an animal-control officer in Sacramento -- about 380 miles away from Los Angeles. The officer had found Lucky wandering the streets alone. Adding to Lucky's good fortune was the fact that an organization called Wings of Rescue offered to fly Lucky home on a private plane for absolutely no cost to Bolivar.

Bolivar and Lucky reunited Sunday night at Van Nuys airport. KTLA was there to capture that special moment: when Bolivar saw her dog for the first time in 5 months.

In the video above, Bolivar claps her hands as soon as the plane door opens. Her first priority? Getting a second reunion, between Lucky and her other dogs, underway.

"I have my two other dogs that miss him," she said to KTLA. "Can't wait to see him."

Wings of Rescue founder Yehuda Netanel was thankful to be part of Lucky's happy ending. The pilot, who usually ferries rescued animals to safe places where they will wait to be adopted, said transporting Lucky was "unusual" but at the same time "fit our mission to a T."

"This was very unusual for us to watch the happy ending," said Netanel to The Huffington Post. "It was instant -- here is the mom waiting for the dog." Normally, explained Netanel, the dogs and cats he rescues are still waiting for their "forever homes" when he drops them off at no-kill shelters or foster homes.

"It was very rewarding, and it brings to mind what its like for other dogs to be adopted later on," said Netanel. "It gave me a very strong boost."

Lucky's story had a happy ending, and thankfully he's not the only dog to be reunited with his owners after long periods of time.

Last December, a husky that had been missing for 9 months was found on a road in Oregon -- hundreds of miles away from his home in Phoenix, Ariz. He was flown back just in time for Christmas.

And in 2011, a chihuahua named "Cookie" was reunited with her owners in San Diego, Calif. after 5 years apart. As AP put it, "it is not known what Cookie has been up to for the last five years."



Images courtesy of Workman Publishing and credited photographers.

Unlikely Animal Friendships