Michael Joy and his family were set to leave on a road vacation in 2016 when his three dogs went away. Sam, a Lab mix who was just 4 months old at the time, went away while the other two returned.
Joy looked everywhere — driving around his Georgia area, searching neighboring shelters — but he couldn’t find his beloved puppy.
He told WTSP, “I told my wife, ‘Hey, I’m going to find this puppy.’” “I never stopped, I constantly — I still watch the shelters’ pages in case he showed up.”
Joy refused to accept Sam was gone for real when the family relocated to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He went back and forth to Georgia, hoping Sam would show up.
Joy received a surprise call from City Dogs Cleveland about five years after Sam went missing. “‘We have Sam,’ she says. I’m thinking to myself, ‘This can’t be the same, Sam!’ This is the state of Ohio! ‘This is almost to Michigan!’” Joy informed WTSP. “So I said, ‘Can you describe him for me?’” “She replied, ‘He’s a lighter-haired dog,’ and I was like, ‘Where are you and when can I pick him up?’”
When the rescue scanned Sam for a microchip during a medical inspection, they were able to identify him.
Joy drove the eight-hour trek to Ohio the day he got the call, hoping his dog would know him. Joy had changed throughout the years, with a beard and long hair, but Sam had also changed.
“You can see the excitement on my face as we get up there and wait for them to take Sam out.” “I felt like a kid on Christmas,” Joy explained.
A man who said he would never give up on his lost dog gets reunited with him. Joy was overjoyed to see his long-lost dog again, and though Sam was first perplexed by his father’s altered appearance, the pup couldn’t stop bouncing and wagging his tail.
Joy will never allow his closest buddy out of his sight again now that he has been reunited with him.