• A Michigan couple that lost its service dog Lola has been reunited with the pup three years later
  • An Illinois couple had been feeding her ever since her escape, and finally managed to capture her
  • Lola is happy to be home, but will need care before she can recover from her ordeal in the woods

A Michigan family has been reunited with its service dog that went missing over three years earlier thanks to an Illinois couple that found Lola living in the woods.

Steve and Debra Mejeur were stunned to receive a message from Dupage County Animal Control last week that Lola, a mixed breed trained to detect Debra's seizures, had been located in Illinois. A couple noticed Lola living in the woods and fed her until she would let them capture her and see if she was microchipped, CBS reports.

The Mejeurs were visiting friends in Illinois in 2017 when Lola somehow slipped out of the fenced yard. The distraught couple made the trip on the weekends to search for Lola, monitoring Facebook and recruiting volunteers to help them. They eventually lost hope after Lola could not be located.

Service Dog Valor
Service dog Valor at Build Studio on Nov. 5, 2019 in New York City. Jim Spellman/Getty Images

More than a companion, Lola was trained to help Debra deal with her epilepsy by detecting seizures before she experienced them. They had given up on ever seeing her again until Dec. 3, when Debra received a message that Lola had been found and was safe.

"I couldn't stay still. I was pacing back and forth the whole time. I was overwhelmed by so many emotions," Debra told CBS. "I was in disbelief and shock because it's been 3 years. I was relieved that she was finally safe."

The Mejeurs discovered that Lola had ranged 10 miles to a wooded area near where she had been lost. A couple that lived nearby noticed that a stray had taken up residence and began feeding her.

Still, Lola wouldn’t let them get close enough to capture her. Only after two and a half years was she comfortable enough to be caught and taken to a vet to scan her chip. The reunification of Lola with her old family was caught on video and spread on social media.

Debra says Lola is still the eager pup she was three years ago, and remembers her service dog training as well. Her ordeal in the woods saw her lose 10 pounds, contract Lyme disease and injure her teeth, but she is overall healthy and happy.

"I don't think it’s really hit us that she's here yet,” Debra said, “but we are just over the moon and forever grateful to the couple that looked after her."