SUNNYVALE -- In the end, after nearly three weeks spent doing who knows what, Iris the Yorkie came back on her own volition Wednesday, mysteriously appearing on Susan Wang's doorstep in the middle of the afternoon.
She wasn't dirty, Wang said. And, she was in good health and apparently no worse for wear, although when Wang put the dog's collar on her it was a bit looser than usual.
"Why is she very clean? I don't know," said Wang. "I'm just so happy to have my baby back. I was so excited last night I couldn't sleep."
It appears that someone had been taking care of Iris since she ran away from her sitter on Aug. 24, the day Wang left for what was to be a three-week trip to visit relatives in China. Instead, when she called home from the Beijing airport and heard Iris had run away, she booked the next flight back.
She spent her vacation scouring shelters near and far for the nine-pound Yorkie, to no avail. She even hired a dog detective, frequently checked online ads for dogs that could be Iris, and hung hundreds of "missing" posters.
After a newspaper story ran last week, she said she received numerous calls from well-wishers, but no tips leading to her dog.
It was while she was doing a run of shelters on Wednesday that Iris showed up. Her friend -- the same person who was watching the dog when she ran off -- went to her El Camino Real house to pick up some paperwork and saw a familiar fuzzball in the front yard.
Wang, who had offered a $3,000 reward for the return of her little terrier, said Iris wouldn't fetch the bounty for turning herself in.
"I think she just wanted to save the money," she said.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.