Michael Joy, an Army veteran, and his family were set to embark on a road trip with their three cherished pets in 2016. The three dogs suddenly released go and began to run away; two returned, but Sam, who was only four months old, vanished.
The father was distraught and looked everywhere for Sam, including many trips through his Georgia neighborhood and visits to various shelters. Michael was unable to locate his beloved puppy, but he would not give up faith that he would be discovered.
In an interview with WTSP, Michael said:
“Hey, I’m going to find the dog,” I informed my wife. I didn’t stop, and I even kept an eye on the shelters’ pages in case he showed up ».
Michael was still waiting for Sam when the family had to relocate to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, due to his military service. Michael’s desire to find his pet dog was so strong that he flew to Georgia on a regular basis to conduct little searches and try to locate him.
Michael received a phone call from a number he didn’t recognize after more than four years had passed since little Sam vanished.
It was about a City Dogs Cleveland employee who had received word of his lost dog, and Michael was thrilled and astonished, although being a bit perplexed.
Michael stated, ”
“They say, ‘We have Sam.'” ‘This can’t be the same Sam!’ I think to myself. ‘Oh, that’s Ohio!’
Despite his skepticism, the guy asked for a brief description of the animal, which the worker provided; Michael didn’t hesitate to inquire as to where he might pick it up.
The puppy was discovered by Cleveland police and sent to an animal shelter, where he was subjected to a battery of testing. During the procedure, they scanned him for a microchip, which allowed the shelter to recognize Sam.
When his oldest daughter inquired what the call was about, the guy responded, “We’re moving to Ohio!” without thinking.
He told his wife about his choice, and they all swiftly prepared for the long voyage ahead of them. Michael and his family started the eight-hour trek to Ohio in the hopes that Sam would know him after all this time.
Michael, too, had long hair and a big beard, and all he had to do now was pray that everything would turn out right.
When they got to the shelter, Michael was waiting for them with Sam, and he couldn’t contain his joy when he saw him, and the reunion was a moving moment.
Michael stated, ”
“My smile may be seen on my face. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.”
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
The emotional reunion was captured on video by shelter employees, who then chose to publish it on social media, where it rapidly went viral. The guy was overjoyed to see his long-lost dog again, albeit Sam was perplexed by his father’s look.
He had recognized him, though, and he kept jumping and wagging his tail with joy and delight, knowing it was his family.