Woman and her missing dog reunited after five years, dog found 200 miles away from home

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Last week as Michael Cecere was running errands around St. Pete, he approached the intersection of 49th Street and 30th Avenue and had to come to a screeching halt.

"A dog ran out literally in the middle of traffic," Michael said.

Michael, who is a self-described animal lover, knew he had to get out and help.

"When I approached the dog, it literally cowered and went from the running position to kind of a laying, prone position," Michael said.

He then took the dog to ParkView Animal Hospital where veterinarians were able to scan the dog's microchip. The information lead Michael to Jessica Namath .

After calling all the phone numbers and getting no one, Michael then turned to Facebook. "When I typed in her name on the search on Facebook, a business came up and it said Jessica Namath Photography," he said.

Michael called the phone number on the page.  Who he got was the daughter of football legend Joe Namath

"I said I've got a weird question for you," he said. "Are you missing a dog?"

Jessica recalls,  "My jaw dropped. I think he even said he could hear it, I was shocked." 

Shocked because Michael found Tula, Jessica's little brown Shih Tzu. Tula went missing over five years ago in Jupiter.

She apparently spent some time with a family in St. Petersburg before wandering off again.

That's when Michael found Tula and reunited her with Jessica. 

"When it saw her, there was recognition there," Michael said. "I saw that dog smile and saw the dog pant for the first time which to me illustrated excitement." 

"It was utter shock and excitement," Jessica said. "She's doing great, she's loving life and falling back into her old ways.  She's just falling right back into being a member of the family again."

All thanks to a microchip and the big heart of one local man.

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