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Long-gone dog back with lawmaker

Kiwi is home again with Rep. Lujan Grisham after running off 13 months ago

New Mexico Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham knows that her dog Kiwi has always been a “Houdini.”

Years ago, she escaped from Animal Humane, only to find Lujan Grisham when she needed a friend.

Then, 13 months ago, the Shih Tzu disappeared after burrowing under a fence, frightened by a hot-air balloon.


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Those were the disappearing acts.

Now for the reappearing act.

On Wednesday, an Albuquerque vet called the Democratic representative of New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District and gave her the good news.

“They told me they had Kiwi, and I was just speechless,” Lujan Grisham told the Journal on Friday. “I think I actually hung up and started to cry” before calling right back.

The dog was likely cared for over the past year or so, and her most recent escape from whoever was caring for her was perhaps prompted by Fourth of July fireworks, the congresswoman said. Regardless, the dog showed up at an Albuquerque vet, where her microchip ultimately tracked her back to Lujan Grisham.

Apart from a possible case of ear mites and some dental problems, Kiwi is just the same, Lujan Grisham said. The congresswoman said she now plans to buy a GPS tracker for Kiwi’s collar, and the dog will join another Shih Tzu, Kobe, and a recently adopted poodle, Sushi.

“I am on it this time,” she said. “I can’t go through this again.”

Kiwi does a trick for a treat from her owner, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M. (Greg Sorber/Journal)

Kiwi does a trick for a treat from her owner, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M. (Greg Sorber/Journal)

Lujan Grisham credits Kiwi with helping her through the sudden death of her husband, Gregory, in 2004.


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A few months after he died of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, Kiwi jumped in Lujan Grisham’s lap when she parked in her driveway. The dog had escaped from Animal Humane and was obviously looking for a home.

“She adopted me,” Lujan Grisham said.

When Kiwi disappeared last year, Lujan Grisham got the help of her neighborhood and Albuquerque residents who went door to door to help find the dog.

Kiwi’s disappearance also highlighted some problems for pet owners trying to find their lost pet. For example, the state Department of Transportation doesn’t search for microchips on animals found dead on the roadside.

Lujan Grisham implored pet owners to get their pets microchipped and make sure their name is listed under the animal’s name.

“People shouldn’t give up hope,” she said.