Lompoc, CA - Six years ago, on the Christmas eve of 2009, Erika Tamayo brought home a special Christmas present for her kids - a bright little Chihuahua! The Tamayo family named the dog Cisco, and over the next few years, he became a close companion to Erika’s three children: Marina, 15, Anthony, 11, and the baby, 11-month-old Gabriel. Marina in particular loved the little dog.
Then one day this past September, during a storm, Cisco escaped from the Tamayos’ yard and disappeared. The family searched the neighborhood and put out flyers, but the weeks passed with no sign of their beloved dog. Though the family didn’t know it, Cisco had been found by someone, and was placed in a shelter run by Companion Animal Placement Assistance (CAPA). October passed and then November, and the Tamayos had just about given up on finding Cisco.
On December 4, the Tamayos went to watch the Lompoc Christmas parade. Volunteers of CAPA were in the parade with three dogs from the shelter. As the CAPA volunteers and dogs passed the Tamayos, little Gabriel tried to crawl toward them. Erika laughed and called, “Cisco, where are you?” One of the shelter’s dogs abruptly turned. Erika saw him and recognized him. “That’s Cisco!” she told her husband, Lelo. Then all the Tamayos started yelling, “Cisco!” At that, Cisco started to drag his handler over to the family. After a quick meeting, Cisco had to get back to the parade. The next day, the Tamayos visited the shelter and were reunited with Cisco. After hugs all around, Cisco went home with the family, who were thrilled with their early Christmas present!