Driving along 49th street in Saint Petersburg Michael Cecere stopped just in the nick of time.
"The dog just ran out in the middle of the street," he said.
He found a little brown dog lost and scared.
"It just kind of hunkered down and I literally scooped it up and kept it on my arm," said Cecere.
Cecere parked his car.
He then walked the neighborhood looking for the Shih Tzu's owner, but no luck.
Cecere brought the dog to Parkview Animal Hospital where vet technicians scanned it for a micro chip. To his surprise they found one.
The chip under the Shih Tzu's matted brown coat contained several phone numbers, all in Palm Beach County.
Not one worked.
Fortunately, the chip also included a name: Jessica Namath.
Michael found her online and called.
"I could hear her jaw drop," he said.
Namath met Cecere on Thursday to pickup her long lost dog.
"This has been unbelievable," she told FOX 13 news.
Namath is the daughter of football legend Joe Namath.
She had been waiting five years for the call.
"She has had a long journey these past few days and she looks nothing like she did before," she said.
Her name is Tula.
As it turns out, the six-year-old dog went missing from a family gathering five years ago.
Namath tried everything to bring Tula home including posters, Craigslist and even a pet psychic.
"When I first saw her my heart exploded and then broke in a million little pieces because she was in such bad condition," she said.
Only Tula knows how she traveled 200 miles and where she has been the past five years.
Namath has since discovered Tula lived with a family in St. Petersburg for at least two years.
Ironically, Tula's ticket home was getting lost a second time.
"I knew if she just got scanned or taken in to anywhere that would scan animals we would find her," she said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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