Ace reunites with his family on September 12 after he was found wandering near the Capitol. (Photo from Noelyn Deloso Concepcion's FB account)

The fur parents of the shih tzu dog named Ace are overflowing with gratitude upon his reunion with them nine months after he went missing on December 24, 2022, a day they were unaware he had wandered away from their home near Alisuag Apartment.

Noelyn Deloso Concepcion said they searched high and low for Ace after he disappeared before Christmas Eve, even venturing into distant barangays in the hopes of finding him, but to no avail.

But finally, on September 12, they were once again in the company of their beloved dog after someone named Kevin (Alivaf) Favila spotted Ace near the Capitol area. Kevin had made an appeal on September 11, around 10:41 p.m., on his social media account asking for information about the owner of a lost dog.

“Gud eve po. [Baka] familiar po sa inyu ung shitzu nato, baka kilala nyu po ung may ari, pagala gala po dito sa capitol, dinampot lang po ng civilian, dinala po dito sa amin, dito lang po kami, sa harap po ng capitol,.salamat po. God bless,” Kevin posted, along with photos of Ace.

The left image shows Ace in the custody of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office personnel at the Capitol when he was found. The right snapshot captures a beaming Ace back with his family. (Photo from Noelyn Deloso Concepcion’s FB account)

Noelyn narrated that she felt a different kind of unease when she saw Kevin’s post. What she did was search for old pictures and videos of Ace on her phone to confirm if the shih tzu in the photos was indeed the one she was looking at.

She said that when they saw Ace again, they felt pity because almost all of his fur was tangled and matted, and had stiffened due to lack of grooming. The dog had a different odor, indicating that it had not been bathed for a long time.

Even Ace’s breath smelled different, and his nails had grown extremely long, making it almost frightening to touch him.

“Pero seeing the pictures alam ko at may kurot sa puso ko telling me na siya si Ace. We communicated sa mga nagpost and napaka thankful namin kasi napaka accomodating nila, sir,” said Noelyn.

“Mukhang gutom na gutom at ang mga mata niya ay halatang pagod (…) Iniisip namin kung paano siya nabuhay at inalagaan ng 9 months pero ganun pa man, salamat po sa nakakuha sa kanya o kumopkop at natagpuan pa rin namin siyang buhay,” Noelyn said.

She said that it no longer mattered to them how Ace ended up in the place where he was found, or if someone had taken him because he was gentle. What was important was that their beloved pet, whom they considered a member of the family, had been returned to them.

Noelyn expressed her gratitude to Kevin and the police officers assigned at the Capitol who didn’t hesitate to help them when Ace was found. She stated that not everyone is like them, willing to go to great lengths to find a dog’s owner.

“Mula sa pagkupkop ng isang araw at gabi, mula ng makita niyo siya at nag-abalang kunin si Ace habang pagala gala sa Capitol is a sign of concern and with good heart. Salamat po sa kaibigan niyo na nag alaga sa kanya ng buong isang gabi kahit ang hyper daw ay pinatuloy niyo pa rin at inalagaan ng buong araw,” she said.

She also expressed her gratitude to Angelo Oja, who reposted it on Facebook for them to see.

“Para sa iba, aso sila na maituturing pero para sa amin pamilya si Ace (…) lahat ng fur parents alam ang saya [na] nararamdaman namin ngayon,” added Noelyn.

In a separate update, Noelyn mentioned that Ace had encountered their husky dog, Logan, and the two of them enjoyed playing together throughout the night on September 13. Additionally, they had brought Ace to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.