GINGER HAIGH hasn't stopped smiling since Elvis entered the building.
"We had two dogs for 13 years and vowed never to get another one, but he's the love of my life," Haigh said Wednesday night as her beloved Pomeranian ran around her South Philly living room.
If Elvis looks familiar, that's because he rose to fame Tuesday, when he was mistaken as Chi-Chi, another Pomeranian stolen during a North Philly burglary in July.
The story of Chi-Chi, and his distraught owner, Nia Kora, was widely disseminated early Tuesday. When Haigh saw a picture of the misplaced dog, she was shocked.
"I said, 'Oh, my God! That's Elvis!' " she said.
So Haigh called police and shared her story.
She told detectives that a friend of her sister Theresa Renzi had found Elvis roaming around North Philly on Sept. 22, and that the friend had searched the area for hours for his owner, with no luck.
She told them that she took the pooch in when neither the friend nor her sister could care for him.
And, with tears in her eyes, she told them that she was willing to send him back to his rightful owner.
"When the detective came to pick him up, I was a wreck," Haigh said. "I couldn't even say goodbye; I had to run into the kitchen."
More tears came when she saw a news broadcast hours later that showed Elvis - now called Chi-Chi - reunited with Kora.
"I was sad, but I was also happy," she said. "I was glad she got him back."
Later that night, her husband got a call from the detective who had visited the family earlier. He said four magic words:
"I'm bringing her back."
Turns out that Kora was mistaken: Elvis is male; Chi-Chi is female. Elvis didn't have an identifying microchip; Chi-Chi does.
Haigh was confused, too - at least initially: She had told the detective that she'd love to take Elvis back, but that she couldn't afford the costs of adopting from the SPCA.
But the detective, who asked the Daily News to withhold his name, paid for the fees out of his own pocket.
"She really loves that dog, and now it has a good home," the detective said Wednesday.
Now, Haigh says she's "the happiest person in the world."
Elvis brightens up the home she shares with her husband, an empty nest now that her kids are grown with families of their own.
To hear Haigh's sister Theresa tell it, Elvis is right where he belongs.
"I told her from the start: when you do the right thing, you get rewarded," Renzi said.
In other words: Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.