Miracle — this is how fur parents Bam and Verah Abiera described their reunion with their dog TanTan after the pup went missing for almost a week in Makati.
All three last spent time together at noon on Sunday, Nov. 19, when the couple brought the Bichon Frise to The Golden Fur grooming salon and hotel in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati for his appointment. It wasn't until 3:30 p.m. that Bam and Verah received a call from the pet salon, saying that TanTan had gone missing.
Desperate to find their dog, whom they fondly call "baby," the couple reported the incident to the police station of Barangay San Lorenzo and announced the canine's disappearance in dog communities on Facebook and Viber. They offered a reward of P50,000 to whoever returns TanTan safely.
Shortly after, the post was reshared multiple times by pet groups and foundations on social media, with content creator We the Paw Sisters even doubling the reward to P100,000.
After four days of thorough searching and nights spent crying, the couple finally received the call they'd been waiting for.
Bam told PhilSTAR L!fe that it all happened at around 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23.
He recalled, "There was this person who called me and said, 'Sir, nasa amin si TanTan. Ayaw namin ng gulo, gusto lang namin ibalik." From the way that the person spoke, Bam already knew that this would put an end to their search for good.
"I waited for confirmation, and they sent me a picture and a video," the fur dad continued. "When I saw the picture, kami ni Verah, tumalon, e. We knew right away that it's TanTan."
Bam then called their barangay kagawad, John Fernandez, for assistance with the meet-up. "So, they provided us with escorts—one motorcycle and one van—para bantayan kami during the exchange," he said.
Bam met with the people who were with TanTan at a fast food restaurant in Circuit Makati. He said they all looked warm and friendly, telling him that they are dog lovers themselves.
Further proving this is the fact that they did not ask for any reward, although it has already increased to a whopping P100,000.
"They were adamant na they didn't want to receive any reward money," Bam told L!fe. "They just said, 'Sir, ayaw lang namin na i-video mo kami, i-post sa social media. We just want peace of mind.'"
An answered prayer
After confirming that it was really TanTan who was with the caller, Bam and Verah couldn't contain their excitement. He recalled himself being "super happy, ecstatic, nervous, na hindi mo alam."
When he and TanTan finally saw each other, their fur baby showed that he felt just the same. "Si Tantan, nagwawala, tumatalon," Bam said.
Apart from being extremely happy, TanTan also showed Bam that he missed them dearly too. The fur dad said that one of the things he first noticed with their all-white pup was that it has brown spots on its face.
"I noticed 'yung mukha niya, maraming brown spots—tear stains," he told L!fe. "And then sabi nila sa akin, 'Alam mo noong nasa amin si Tantan, iyak lang siya ng iyak.'"
Now, their fur baby is "super excited, super happy to be home," with TanTan running around Bam's office earlier today.
Looking back, Bam described their much-awaited reunion with TanTan as an answered prayer.
"Actually, it was in one of my prayers, na the one who has TanTan has a change of heart," he said. "Parang God orchestrated everything—yung mga social media posts, interviews that led to the blow-up of the news, and all our actions that led to the release of our baby."
"Miracle talaga, miracle. It's my first time hearing something like this happen," he added.
In a previous interview with L!fe, Bam said that he and Verah would spend the day with TanTan and "make him feel that's everything back to normal" once their fur baby is back in their arms.
While they plan to do more of these in the days—even years—to come, the couple still has one more thing they promise to fulfill from this day forward: "Never let TanTan out of our sight, never ever again."