MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s a tale that will make you smile.

More than a year after their dog went missing, a Middletown family found her in St. Augustine, Florida. 

Bella, an 8-pound Yorkie, went missing in October of 2021.

Melissa Reynolds’ 13-year-old daughter, Jordan Smith, grew up with Bella as her best friend.

“She just really helps me when I’m sad,” Smith said while holding Bella in her arms Saturday. 

For more than a year there was no word on where the dog went. 

“We didn’t think she was still alive, we have a lot of coyotes around here,” Reynolds said.

Things changed when Reynolds’ phone rang and a Florida area code popped up on her screen. Little did she know, it was the phone call that would change everything for her family.

“Last week we got a phone call saying [Bella] was in Florida,” Reynolds recalled. “At first, I didn’t believe it until they sent me a picture. I was like ‘oh my gosh, that’s Bella.'”

Jordan and Melissa, of Middletown, reunited with their dog Bella.

Reynolds started looking at plane tickets and booked a trip immediately. 

Smith knew her mom was going on a trip and that a surprise was coming, but wasn’t sure what the surprise was.

Jim and Wynde Wilson were the couple that found the Yorkshire terrier. The two own a pub in St. Augustine and took care of the dog for about three weeks before finally getting a veterinarian appointment.

The Wilsons told 12 News that Bella was first spotted with a man in the area, who eventually told the pub owners he couldn’t take care of her anymore.

The vet in Florida scanned her microchip and then made the call to Reynolds. 

“I was shocked at first, I cried a lot,” Reynolds recalled when she heard the news.

It’s unclear how Bella got to the Sunshine State, but what matters is that she is home. Reynolds explained how crucial microchips in pets can be.

“I think all dogs should be chipped, it would bring a lot of dogs back to their owners,” she explained.

As for what’s next, Reynolds said the backyard is now fenced in and Bella will always be leashed.