HAVERHILL (CBS) — Army Staff Sargent Karla Lopez has been away serving her country for eight months. That means she hadn’t seen her six-year-old daughter Izzie since the start of school last September.

But on Wednesday, Lopez flew home and got to surprise her little girl at the Bartlett school in Haverhill as the kindergarten student walked into the library.

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“It was exciting, I was more emotional than I thought it would be,” said Lopez. “I thought she was going to be more emotional, got that wrong.”

Army Staff Sargent Karla Lopez and her daughter Izabella are reunited (Courtesy: Haverhill Public Schools)

The school also gave her flowers to thank her for her 12 years so far of serving in the Army.

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Lopez is a veterinary technician, working with military service dogs overseas at a US Air Force installation in Turkey.

On Thursday, she and Izzie picked up their dog, Chickie, for the first time in eight months. Friends had been caring for the dog while cousins took in Izzie.

“I don’t know if she knows what eight months means,” said Lopez about Chickie. “It definitely took her a minute to recognize us and then she was all jumping and licking.”

The trio has made great sacrifices while being apart, Lopez said she most recently missed her daughter losing her first tooth and her sixth birthday. But for the weekend, mom and daughter will reconnect in Disney world.

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Lopez will return to duty next week. In the fall, she, Izzie, and Chickie will move to Georgia together when Lopez is transferred to Moody Air Force base.