In 2016, Michael Joy experienced every dog owner’s worst nightmare. His three beloved dogs went missing. After a relentless search, he was reunited with his lost companion, Sam, four years later.
Two of Michael’s dogs returned home, but Sam, a 4-month-old Lab mix, was nowhere to be found. Despite Michael’s persistent search in all the local shelters, Sam remained missing.
“I told my wife, ‘I’m going to find this puppy’,” said Michael. “I kept checking the shelters’ websites, just in case he showed up. I never gave up.”
Michael and his family eventually moved to Kentucky, but his belief that Sam was still alive and well never wavered. He frequently revisited their previous home in Georgia, holding onto the hope that Sam might still return there.
Almost five years passed, and there was still no sign of Sam.
But one day, out of the blue, Michael received a call from City Dogs Cleveland.
“‘We have Sam’, they said. I thought, ‘There’s no way this could be the same Sam!'” Michael shared. “This is Ohio! That’s practically in Michigan!”
“I asked, ‘Can you describe him to me?’ And after she said, ‘He’s a lighter-haired dog’, I replied, ‘Where are you and when can I pick him up?'”
During a routine medical check at the shelter, Sam’s microchip was discovered. From there, they were able to trace him back to the Joy family.
On that same day, Michael drove eight hours to Ohio, hoping that Sam might still recognize him. Over the years, both Michael and Sam had changed significantly.
“You could just see the anticipation on my face as I waited for them to bring Sam out. I was like a kid at Christmas,” Michael remarked.
It’s safe to say that Michael won’t let Sam out of his sight again any time soon.
Get tissues ready for this one…Sam was dropped off by police who found him. Kennel staff scanned & found a #microchip then contacted the number on file. Turns out, Sam was missing for 4 YEARS, from Georgia! His owner drove 8hrs to get Sam in an emotional #reunion.☺️#happyending pic.twitter.com/kGtaeN4iX1
— City Dogs Cleveland (@CityDogsCLE) April 15, 2021
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