Man who vowed never to give up his lost dog reunites with him 4 years later

“I was like a kid at Christmas.”

In 2016, Michael Joy and his family were about to hit the road when his three dogs got lost. The two returned, but Sam, a mixed-breed dog who was only four months old at the time, went missing.

Joy searched everywhere – driving around his neighborhood in Georgia, checking local shelters – but the vet couldn’t find his beloved dog anywhere. “I said to my wife, ‘Hey, I’m going to find this dog,”
Joy said. “I never stop, I always – I even keep an eye on the shelter’s pages in case he would have shown up.”

The family eventually moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, but Joy refused to believe that Sam was gone. He paced back and forth to Georgia, hoping that Sam would show up.

Then, nearly five years after Sam went missing, Joy received an unexpected call from City Dogs Cleveland. “She said, ‘We found Sam. “In my mind, I would say, ‘This can’t be the same, Sam! This is Ohio! Joy said. “So I was like, ‘Can you describe him to me?’ and she said, ‘It’s a lighter-haired dog,’ and I asked, ‘Where are you and when can I pick him up?”

Rescuers were able to identify Sam when they microchipped him during a medical examination.

On the day he got the call, Joy drove 8 hours to Ohio and prayed that his dog would recognize him. Over the years, Joy has changed – he has grown a beard and long hair – but Sam has also changed.

“As we got up there and I was waiting for them to pull Sam out, you could see the anticipation on my face. I was like a kid at Christmas,” Joy said.

You can watch the emotional reunion here:

Joy was thrilled to see her lost dog again, and although Sam seemed a bit confused by his dad’s new look, the puppy kept jumping and wagging his tail in delight.

Now that Joy is reunited with his best friend, he will never let him out of sight again.