A five-year-old toy poodle that was taken from near its home in southwest China has been reunited with its owners after an 11-day adventure and a 4,000km (2,500-mile) round plane trip, according to a local news website.
The dog, which was not named, went missing from outside an inn run by its owner in the picturesque city of Lijiang, a popular tourist destination in Yunnan province, on February 22, Yunnan.cn reported on Sunday.
As soon as the owner noticed the pet had gone, she reported it to the police, who began their search by reviewing footage from surveillance cameras in the area, the report said.
The video showed that the dog had been outside the inn when it became enamoured with a passing Pomeranian and followed it and its owners, a man and woman who were visiting the area as tourists.
Moments later, the woman was seen picking up both her own dog and the poodle and walking away with them. The couple then disappeared out of shot of the cameras.
After watching the footage, the owner of the poodle downloaded several still images and distributed them around the city. More than a week later, on March 2, a local hotel worker came forward and identified the mystery couple, the report said.
The worker said the couple had returned home to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, 2,000km away.
With more help from the police, the owner of the poodle was able to trace the couple and immediately called them to find out why they had taken her dog.
According to the website report, the pair initially denied taking the animal, but later said they thought it was a stray and decided to give it a home.
They then agreed to send it back, and with the help of a courier service the dog was soon winging its way back to Yunnan, where it landed at Kunming airport on March 6.