We love us some adorable animal stories—so what better way to bid farewell to 2011 than with one such happy story! Recurring Law & Order actress Lenore Harris was reunited with her 17-year-old Pomeranian yesterday, a few days after the dog was stolen from her in a CVS on the Upper West Side. “It’s a great holiday New York story,” said Lenore’s sister, Rosalind Harris, an actress who played Tzeitel in the movie Fiddler on the Roof.

Lenore, who played public defender Marya Levinson in several episodes of Law & Order, took her dog Mottel to the CVS drugstore at 93rd Street and Broadway Tuesday night, putting his carrier in her shopping cart. She turned to speak to the pharmacist and “it wasn’t even a minute. I turned around and the dog was gone.” Employees said they saw a man rush out the store with the bag. Lenore, who teaches speech at the HB Studio acting school, was distraught to say the least: “I know this sounds dramatic, but you want to commit suicide. I wanted to kill myself.”

She and her sister spent $1,500 giving out fliers, plastering posters around the neighborhood, and hiring drivers to help them search. Then on Wednesday night, Sonya Thorpe and her 9-year-old daughter Naomi saw the bag with Mottel at the bus stop at 96th Street and First Avenue: “I opened the bag and said, ‘Oh my God, he’s so cute,’ ” said Thorpe. They identified the dog thanks to his microchip, and helped reunite owner and pet soon after. Today, Lenore said she'd be taking Mottel for a special grooming and bath after his ordeal, “so he enters the new year sparkling.”