Families who’ve had dogs since they were small pups form intimate bonds with their four-legged companions. And when kids create memories of playing fetch and tug-of-war with their furry energetic friends, they form truly unbreakable bonds.

The Robles family from Texas loved their dog to no end. She had been with the family since she was a young pup and grew up alongside the children. This made it all the more painful when, one afternoon, the pooch disappeared, leaving the family to wonder what became of the dog they were so close with…

Icela Robles grew up with dogs, so when she married and had children, she knew it was only a matter of time before her family welcomed a canine into their home. She had a special soft spot for Labradors.

When Iclela’s son and daughter, Joshua and Jeslyn, were only a few months old, Lola the dog entered their lives, and it was love at first sight (or lick) for every single family member. 

The kids immediately took to the golden Labrador and, after late evenings tossing the tennis ball and long walks with her on Saturday mornings, they developed a special bond.

As Lola and the two Robles children grew up, they spent every available moment hanging out together. In fact, if you asked Joshua and Jeslyn, they would have admitted they thought of Lola as another sibling.

One summer afternoon, Joshua and Jeslyn went out into the backyard to play with Lola. However, when the children called for her, she was nowhere to be found. After searching the property, they feared the worst.

A frantic Joshua and Jeslyn ran inside and told Icela. She and her husband hopped into their car and combed every square inch of their neighborhood, but it was true: Lola had disappeared.

An entire 12 months went by with no word from anyone about Lola. They asked friends and neighbors, but no one knew anything. The dog was gone, and the family was devastated.

Questions mounted for the family who could never stop wondering what Lola’s ultimate fate was. Had somebody found her? Was she living somewhere else with another family? Answers were impossible to come by — until one morning.

On that day, Icela answered the phone and was greeted by an unfamiliar voice. On the other end, an employee at Dallas Animal Services announced they had stunning news.

Icela’s mouth dropped as she heard the voice on the other end tell her they found Lola! Icela hopped in the car and drove to the shelter, wondering if that could possibly be true.

Sure enough, when Icela stepped into the shelter, a familiar face greeted her. There was the beloved golden Labrador Lola, eyes wide and tail furiously wagging! Joyous day!

Lola had been microchipped as a puppy, so when the workers from Dallas Animal Services brought her in, a simple scan of her microchip let them know she was the Robles’ dog. But Icela had questions.

For instance, how had it taken a whole year for the family to get Lola back? Where had she been all that time? And how had she only found her way to the shelter now?

Obviously, Lola couldn’t tell her owners what happened, but because she looked well-fed and cared for, the workers assumed she had been staying with another family.

While Icela wouldn’t ever get the truth behind Lola’s disappearance, this didn’t diminish her overwhelming joy. Elated, Icela couldn’t wait to tell Joshua and Jeslyn the news.

Icela called the house to make sure her kids were home, and she kept Lola in the back seat so the kids couldn’t see her when the van pulled into the driveway. This way, the surprise would hit as hard as possible.

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As soon as Icela pulled into the driveway, Joshua and Jeslyn greeted her, curious as to why their mother wanted to know they home — and what she wanted to show them in the trunk. They soon had their answers!

The Dodo / YouTube

Both children stared in awe as the dog they’d grown up with for years leaped out of the back! Jeslyn started crying, and Joshua couldn’t stop hugging the long-lost family member!

The Dodo / YouTube

It felt too good to be true, but it wasn’t! The Robles were a full family again at last. The family celebrated by taking their newly returned dog out for a play session! Look at her go!

To this day, the mystery remains: where the heck had she gone for an entire year? Still, many animals who go missing never return; the Robles were just incredibly lucky to have their golden Labrador back.