Albuquerque, NM -- Mandi Smith's 5-month-old puppy Pooka disappeared from the family's Fort Campbell, Kentucky yard 18 months ago so Smith was shocked to get a call that her dog was in a New Mexico Humane Society.
The now 2-year-old Chihuahua-dachshund mix, also known as a "chiweenie," was found wandering the streets in Espanola on Jan. 12 and was traced back to her military family by a microchip.
Thanks to donated points and waived fees from Southwest Airlines, Smith and the dog were reunited Wednesday at Albuquerque's airport.
Surrounded by cameras and reporters, it was unclear if Pooka recognized Smith. But she clearly looked content to be snuggled in her arms.
Pooka has been staying with a foster mom, Melanie Lopez, who brought the dog to the airport for Smith says she had Pooka for just four months when she disappeared after the family let her out to do her business.
Smith planned to head straight back to Kentucky, where she said the now full-grown dog would be joining two other dogs and Smith's four children.