updated 5/4/2006 7:36:07 PM ET 2006-05-04T23:36:07

A couple says they are thrilled to have their dog back nearly five years after it disappeared. Holly and Troy Webb said they thought the worst when Gidget, their Lhasa apso, ran away in 2001.

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"We thought maybe she got hurt or something, but nobody called or anything like that," Holly Webb told WNDU-TV.

But the South Bend Animal Control officials called the Webbs last week, saying they found the dog, still wearing the collar and tags she had on when she disappeared. The dog was found tied to animal control's front door, the Webbs were told.

"When I saw her, it was like seeing a ghost," Troy Webb said.

Gidget, missing for four years and seven months, is now 12 or 13 years old. She came home with matted fur and moves a bit slower but was otherwise all right, the Webbs said.

"If she just wants to be a lap dog, that's fine with me, too," said Troy Webb.

The Webbs said they believe someone had their dog. She had been fed but not groomed.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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