Ethan Ferrier was just 2 years old when his beloved dog and best friend Fern was cruelly snatched from the front porch of the family home in Surrey.
The little boy captured the heart of the British nation after penning a letter to the criminals who stole the then-1-year-old black cocker spaniel, begging them to return his playmate.
Writing in green ink, Ethan said: "To the bad men who took Fern. Can Fern come home now please. I miss her."
On Wednesday, six years later, a "miracle" happened — his mother, Jodie Ferrier, who has since relocated the family to the Isle of Wight, got a phone call from a veterinary clinic back in Surrey.
The vets had scanned the microchip of dog found wandering, and it turned out to be Fern, who is now seven-years-old, the Telegraph reported.
It is thought the dog was stolen to be used for intensive breeding on a puppy farm, as she has unusually enlarged teats. Vets have predicted the spaniel has had at least six litters.
Although she was well-fed, the dog was found wandering the streets as a stray and was smelly and covered in scabs. It is unknown how she was treated in the six years she was away from her family, but she is now afraid of men.
The spaniel is happy now she is home, however, and Mrs Ferrier said "it is like she has never been away".
She told the Telegraph: "She was only a year old when she was stolen from me.
"One minute she was there, the next she was gone. She was on the driveway at home and she just vanished. There was no sighting of this dog until yesterday, nothing.
"Yesterday I got that phone call saying that the woman at the vet thought she had my dog! Twyford veterinary practice had her, a man kindly handed her in as she was standing in the middle of the road.
"Nobody locally knew anything about her so he took her to the local vets to have her scanned. They scanned her microchip and it was ours!
"She's been well fed wherever she's been for the last six years, she's got very itchy skin though so she's booked in with my vet this afternoon".
The mother-of-three told of her fears that Fern was used for puppy farming. She said: "She's obviously had very many litters of puppies, you can tell by the size of her teats
"It's what I thought might have been happened to her, puppy farming, I thought she would still be alive as she was a useful commodity."
If it were not for her microchip, the family would likely have never seen their dog again.
She said: "I really want to emphasise that people need to implant microchips and keep the details up to date, if I hadn't happened she wouldn't be back."
Ethan, now 8, is said to be "over the moon" his best friend has returned - and the two recognised each other despite the time apart.
His mother explained: "After a moment she recognised us - that tail has not stopped wagging since we brought her home.
"He burst into tears as soon as I told him. He has not for one second given up hope that this dog is still alive. It's just a miracle."
After travelling all day and night to collect the dog, the family is now enjoying a well-deserved rest back home on the Isle of Wight.
Mrs Ferrier said of Fern: "She's back on my carpet in front of me like she's never been away".