KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - After getting lost in Florida, Addison the dachshund is back with her owner in Kansas in time for Christmas - and she arrived in style.
The 7-year-old dachshund flew first class from Tampa, Fla., on Monday and was reunited with 14-year-old Abby Mason of Olathe, Kan., at the Kansas City International Airport.
The lucky dog got the special treatment thanks to Crista Banks, a Florida dachshund owner and volunteer, who had seen emails from Abby about her missing dog and decided to help. Banks had some Delta frequent flyer miles going to waste, so she offered to use them to fly Addison to Kansas City.
Banks thought she'd come along, and when she bought tickets, they got an upgrade to first class.
"I really wanted to get this dog back to Abby," Banks said.
The whole thing started when Abby, who got Addison as a puppy, left the dog with family members in Arizona while she went to visit her father in Olathe for the summer. When summer was over, Abby decided she wanted to stay in Olathe and go to school. Meanwhile, her Arizona family had moved to Florida.
"I didn't know for a long time that Addison was lost down there," Abby said.
When she found out, she started calling and emailing every animal shelter she could find in Florida. Finally, workers at Hillsborough Animal Services in Tampa traced a microchip back to the uncle who had taken Addison to Florida. The decision was made to somehow reunite Addison to Abby.
Banks said when she saw Addison and Abby reunited at the airport she knew those miles were put to good use.
"Just in time for the holidays," she said. "These two belong together."
Abby called the stranger, "My lovely friend Crista."
"This means the world to me," Abby said.