Even three years after Olivia mysteriously disappeared, Corbat’s heartbreak was still felt fresh. She remembered with guilt the bond the pup shared with her late husband, and her late husband’s final wish.
“He said ‘if I should go, please, take good care of my Olivia,’” Corbat remembers. “And I said ‘you got it.’”
The day Olivia went missing, she was staying with a dog sitter. Corbat says her skittish dog slipped right past the sitter and ran off. Though she searched for Olivia for months, Corbat says at a certain point she couldn’t help but think her dog would never be found.
“I had given up hope,” Corbat admits.
Little did Corbat know, Olivia didn’t stray very far. In the years since she’d run away, Olivia had been spotted several times near the local mall, only eight miles away from Patty Corbat’s home in Wellington.
Mall security had seen her, shoppers had tried and failed to catch her, but Olivia always managed to evade any would-be rescuer, choosing instead to nest in a field adjacent to the shopping center.
After hearing multiple reports of a loose dog living near the mall, Loxahatchee Groves organization Pet Haven Rescue decided to step in. Using a humane dog trap, PHR’s Carole Chapuis finally captured Olivia after the dog had spent three long years on the lam. When she was found, an emaciated Olivia was covered in tree sap and waste.
Chapuis believes someone living near the mall probably cared for Olivia, perhaps set out food and water occasionally, as it’s unlikely the dog had to fend for herself for all that time.
“There’s no way,” Chapuis tells WPTV. “I can’t imagine her living out there for three years with no one feeding her.”
After giving Olivia a much-needed bath, Chapuis used a special scanner to locate a microchip embedded in the dog’s chest. Information tied to that tiny chip allowed Chapuis to get in touch with Patty Corbat, who could hardly believe the good news.
“I had the shock of my life,” Corbat says of the phone call from Pet Haven Rescue.
Chapuis and Corbat arranged to meet up Saturday, September 14 for a reunion three long years in the making.
“I can hardly wait to see her,” Corbat said, waiting for the Pet Haven Rescue van to pull up with her long lost dog inside. “I just hope she remembers me.”
As soon as Olivia stepped out of the van, it was clear to everyone she did remember her owner. Shaking since she was brought in out of that field, 11-year-old Olivia finally seemed to calm down in Corbat’s presence. As for Corbat, she says she couldn’t be more grateful.
“Oh, I’m so happy to have her back you have no idea,” Corbat exclaimed.
Though it was Pet Haven Rescue that finally caught Olivia, it was Olivia’s microchip that really made Saturday’s happy reunion possible, Chapuis explains, hoping pet owners everywhere will take note and microchip their pets, too.