In 2016, Michael Joy and his family had planned to embark on a road trip when his three dogs disappeared. Even though two of the dogs returned, Sam, who was only four months old, remained missing. Despite Joy’s best efforts including driving around his local area and searching nearby shelters, he couldn’t locate Sam. However, Joy was determined to find his beloved puppy and told his wife that he wouldn’t give up until he did. To this day, Joy still keeps an eye on shelter pages in case Sam ever turns up.
When Joy’s family relocated to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, she couldn’t accept that Sam was gone for good. She kept hoping he would show up, even though he went back and forth to Georgia. After five years, Joy received an unexpected call from City Dogs Cleveland informing her that they have found Sam. She was surprised and skeptical at first, thinking it couldn’t be the same Sam she lost. The fact that he was in Ohio, almost close to Michigan, made her doubt even more. To confirm if it was really Sam, she asked for a description of the dog. The person on the other line replied that he was a lighter-haired dog, which convinced Joy to ask where and when she could pick him up.
During a routine medical check-up, the rescue team scanned Sam’s body for a microchip and successfully identified him. Upon receiving the news, Joy embarked on an eight-hour long journey to Ohio with the hope that his beloved dog would still recognize him. Over the years, Joy had changed quite a bit with his long hair and beard, and even Sam had undergone some changes as well.
With a beaming smile on his face, Joy eagerly waited as they brought his beloved Sam out. The excitement was palpable, and Joy likened it to the joy he felt as a child on Christmas morning. He had never given up hope of finding his lost dog, and now that they were reunited, Joy vowed to never let Sam out of his sight again. As Sam initially adjusted to his father’s new appearance, the happy pup couldn’t contain his bouncing and tail wagging. Joy’s determination to find his closest companion had paid off, and he was overjoyed to have Sam back in his life.