Everything started in 2016, when Michael Joy was a recruiter for the U.S. Military. He was often gone with long periods of time.
One day, after returning from among his hiring jobs. He discovered his pet Sam had disappeared from his home in Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Joy called all the animal shelters and also went out looking for Sam. Unfortunately, Michael could find his best friend.
He vowed to never surrender, “I told my wife, hey, I’m gonna find this dog.”
However, as time as moved on. Joy and his family had to move to Tennessee.
Fast forward four years to the morning of April 2nd of this year and a phone call from a number Joy didn’t recognize.
“I get this phone call and I’m like, Cleveland? I’m not gonna answer this! ‘Cause normally I don’t answer numbers I don’t remember,” Joy said.
What the hell, right?
As Michael recounts, “Ah, cool, let me answer this and see what’s going on. She said, ‘hi, is this Mr. Joy?’ I said, ‘yeah…’ She said, ‘We have your dog!’ And I’m looking at my dogs and I’m like, ‘No, you don’t. All four of my dogs are here!’ She goes, ‘We have Sam.’ In the back of my mind I’m going, ‘This can’t be the same Sam! This is Ohio! This is, like, almost to Michigan!’ So I’m like, ‘Can you describe him for me?’ And she said, ‘He’s a lighter-haired dog.’ And I’m like ‘Where are you and when can I pick him up?’”
Sam was found by Cleveland Police and taken in for a medical exam and to be scanned for a microchip. And that’s how City Dogs found Joy.
“There was no question, it was an impulse thing,” Joy said.
“It was hard to sleep that night, let’s say that, ‘cause I knew I had an 8-9 hour drive ahead of me one way,” Joy said.
On the drive from Clarksville to Ohio, Joy was excited.
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
“But as we get up there and I’m waiting for them to pull Sam out, you can just see the anticipation in my face. I was like a kid on Christmas,” said Joy. “As soon as he turned that corner, I was like, ‘Oh my God. That is him.’ And as I’m petting him, you can see as you watch the video that the shelter released, you can see my wife and my daughter crying. And I was like, ‘Oh man, I am so happy.’ And yeah, he didn’t recognize me at first, but it’s been five years. I have a beard and long hair now,” Joy said.
“I don’t smile a lot, but you can see, I can’t stop smiling. I love Sam. Sam is my best friend. And most dogs are better than humans, in my opinion,” Joy said with a grin.
Sam would never have been reunited with Joy if it hadn’t been for the microchip Joy had put in when he took Sam to get neutered.
“Never in a thousand years would I have thought they were going to find him with a microchip. Microchipping is, I’ve been telling everybody that has dogs and is reading my story. And it’s funny because I never thought my story would go as viral as it did up there in Cleveland.”
“No matter what animal you have, cat, dog, if you could microchip your raccoon, microchip your raccoon. Because there’s nothing like having your dog come back to you. Your pet. Part of your family.”
Source: Article from WKYC and City Dogs Cleveland