(ABC News)--An Italian greyhound who went missing eight months ago found his way back home this week.
Dauz, short for the family name "Dausman," lived with his original owners in Collinsville, Ill., when he was stolen from their front yard last July.
Almost a year later, Alicia Dausman received a call from a Fairfax, Va. animal shelter 900 miles away, saying they had found her dog.
"I was shaking. I was crying. I've never been so happy. It was like a dream getting that call," Dausman told ABC News. "I can't believe they found Dauz."
Dausman says a day after the pet went missing, she contacted police and began a frantic search for him.
The 35-year-old mother of three posted pictures on Facebook, put up ads on Craigslist, handed out flyers and contacted shelters and Italian greyhound rescue groups.
She said the family had all but given up hope when the Virginia shelter called her. They immediately took a trip to retrieve the dog.
"They ran Dauz's microchip and saw that he was reported missing," Dausman said. "They called me immediately, before the people who took him could go try to claim him. We're just so ecstatic. He's my 6-year-old daughter's best friend."
Dausman says the stolen dog was given to a man who lived in Virginia, who gave the dog to his wife as a birthday gift.
The couple, who called him "Bruno," took care of the dog, but Dausman says the dog is a littler thinner than what she remembers.
"He escaped and found his way back to us," Dausman said. "My kids would always say ‘Yeah mom he's coming back. He loves us.' It's a dream come true."
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