COLUMBUS, IN (WAVE) - Lots of people ask for dogs for Christmas, but not usually for a 10-year-old lab with a limp.
"People were saying you're crazy for getting three labs," Jan Finke said. "Labs chew everything."
Cali, the Finke's lab, is hard to keep up with around the house. It could be because she's been to their Columbus, Indiana home before, almost five years ago to the day.
"I just couldn't find her," Finke said. "I just kept looking and looking and every day that went by, it's just a sinking feeling."
The Finke family has an invisible fence. Five years ago, Cali got out. They wish she could talk to tell us what happened in between her disappearance and 2017.
A couple weeks ago, Cali fell into the hands of animal rescuer Linda Jackson. She was located by Jackson's family friend on the side of the road.
"As a rescuer I guess I've seen worse, but I've also seen better too," Jackson said.
Jackson was told the dog had already been scanned for a chip. But Monday, when Jackson took Cali to the vet, she was scanned again. This time, the vet located a chip.
Cali's family lived about 20 minutes up the road.
"When I got that call I just couldn't believe it," Finke said.
It was a tearful reunion for the family. They were given a gift nothing under their tree this year can match.
"She said I had given them the best Christmas present they could have and one they never thought they were going to get," Jackson said.
Lost dogs can be scanned for chips for free at almost any veterinarian office.