Four years after his dog went missing, veteran Michael Joy received the call he thought would never come – his dog had been found!
According to the Clarksville Now, Joy rescued Sam when he was in the Army. Sam’s old family no longer wanted him due to his attitude, so Joy stepped in to give Sam a proper home.
Sam was welcomed into the Joy family home in Georiga where he began obedience training along with Joy’s two other dogs. Unfortunately, while Joy was deployed, all three dogs escaped the house and ran away.
According to Clarksville Now, Joy explained, “I had to go on a (temporary duty assignment), came back, and my wife and kids were like, ‘Hey, the dogs got out and now we can’t find them.'”
After searching the local area, they were able to locate two of their dogs, but not Sam.
The family took to Facebook and searched local shelters around Columbus, Georgia, close to where Joy was stationed in Fort Benning. Sadly, Sam never appeared and it was eventually time for Joy to be stationed in a different state.
Despite being sad about losing Sam, Joy packaged up his family and two dogs and moved to Tennessee, pretty sure he’d never see his beloved pup again.
However, one day, he received a call from Cleveland, Ohio. Joy recalled to the Cleveland Now that he didn’t know anybody from Cleveland and he usually doesn’t answer unknown calls, but he decided to pick up.
He said, “So I picked up the phone and the lady was like, ‘Is this Mr. Joy?’ She was like, ‘This is City Dogs of Cleveland. We found your dog Sam.'”
Naturally, Joy couldn’t believe it. It’d been four years since Sam went missing in Georgia, but the City Dogs of Cleveland said the microchip was tied to his information. With that, Joy and his family made the long, eight-hour drive to Cleveland to see if it was truly Sam that’d been found.
City Dogs Cleveland shared in a statement on Facebook that the police had found Sam wandering around and picked him up. They took him to the kennel where he was promptly scanned for a microchip. Thankfully, he did have one and the information was up-to-date, so they were able to contact his owner, Joy. However, no one could’ve guessed that the dog went missing years prior in a completely different state!
Joy shared about his emotional reunion with Sam to the Cleveland Now. He said, “He came up to me, and first he didn’t recognize me, but within 30 seconds, he remembered and he was happy. My wife and kids were crying.”
Joy’s other two dogs that he had when he first adopted Sam had passed away since Sam went missing, but Joy had adopted another dog for his daughter in December of 2020. The new dog, a friendly chocolate lab, was also named Sam!
Both Sams are now living with the Joy family and their three other dogs in Tennessee. No one is quite sure what happened during the four years that Sam was missing or how he ended up in Cleveland, but there’s one thing that’s for certain: It’s so great that he finally made his way home.
The City Dogs Cleveland said it best in their statement:
“This is a great reminder of the importance of microchips, and why it’s so important, if you find a lost dog, to bring him to your local animal control or shelter agency to be checked for a chip and have the best chance of finding their owner! We wish Sam could tell us his story, but we’re so glad about the happy ending!”
Watch the sweet reunion video below:
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