In 2016, Michael Joy experienced every dog-owner’s worst nightmare. His three beloved dogs got loose and went missing.
Sam, a 4-month-old Lab mix, was still missing when two of the dogs returned. Sam was nowhere to be found despite Michael searching every single local shelter.
Hey, I’m going to find this dog, I told my wife, Michael said. I continued to follow the shelters’ website just in case he had appeared. I never stopped.
Michael and his family ultimately relocated to Kentucky, but he never lost faith that Sam was still alive and well. He frequently visited their former Georgia house in the hopes that Sam could still be there.
Almost five years passed and Michael still hadn’t been able to find Sam.
But then one day, out of nowhere, Michael received a call from City Dogs Cleveland.
“She goes, ‘We have Sam.’ In the back of my mind, I’m going, ‘This can’t be the same Sam!” Michael said.
It’s Ohio, folks! This is like on the way to Michigan.
“So I asked, ‘Can you describe him for me?’ I said, “Where are you and when can I pick him up?” after she answered, “He’s a lighter-haired dog.”
The shelter had given Sam a medical exam, and in the process they scanned him and found his microchip. They were then able to trace him back to the Joy family.
That same day, Michael traveled eight hours to Ohio in the hopes that Sam would still remember him. Over those years, Michael and Sam had undergone significant change.
You can just see the excitement in my face as I wait for them to pull Sam out as we go to the top. Michael stated, “I was like a kid at Christmas.
Sam was just as excited as Michael was! He couldn’t stop wagging his tail and jumping all over his dad.
It’s safe to say that Michael won’t be letting Sam out of his sight again anytime soon.