MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - Colleen Sowers never gave up hope that one day her dog Honey would come back home.
Sowers runs Peanut's Place Small Dog Rescue in Matthews. In 2014, Honey was adopted out to an owner in Sowers' neighborhood, but she escaped.
"For the first two weeks, we had really good sightings of her but when we'd get there she'd be gone," Sowers said.
As years passed, the sightings of honey continued, but no attempts to catch her were successful.
Then, just last weekend, a neighbor who'd been feeding the now feral dog for years, spotted her and she looked injured.
"She was flipping around and looked like she may have been attacked or hit by a car," Sowers said.
In the middle of the night, Sowers rushed to try and capture the dog again. This time, she was successful.
But Honey wasn't injured. She was covered in dozens of ticks.
If not for those ticks, she may have never been slowed down enough to catch.
"The next day after a bath and a good meal and the tick removal, she got up and started walking on her own. Miraculously after all that time," Sowers said.
Now, Honey is still just as skittish and won't leave Sowers' side. But that's ok. Sowers says even if she ends up living with her, the rest of her days will be happy ones.