CLARKSVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — It was a road trip four years in the making. Michael Joy says it was back then when his dogs got loose from his Georgia home. Two returned home but the family couldn't find 4-month-old Sam.
"I drove around the neighborhood, I went to local shelters. I was looking for him hard," said Joy.
Being in the Army, it was time for the family to move from Georgia to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He says he never gave up on his lost pup.
"I came to Campbell and I kept looking, I kept going back-and-forth, also I went there three or four times after I moved here. Just maybe he would've shown up down there."
As time passed, still no sight of Sam. Joy is retired from the Army and the family got other dogs, the newest one, also named Sam.
But the golden boy, the original Sam wasn't missing at all, he was three states away.
"I got a call, Cleveland Ohio, and I’m the kind of person that if I don’t know that number I’m not answering it," Joy said.
It was City Dogs Cleveland, an animal shelter. Joy says an employee told him the shelter had his missing Dog.
"I was like Sam, I’m looking at him, no you don’t and why would he be in Cleveland," Joy said thinking about the new dog.
"They were like no, no we have your dog," said Joy, "I was like can you tell me what he looks like; and he says a lighter hair and soon as they said lighter hair dog, I’m like I’m coming there right now," said Joy.
It was April 3, an Easter Miracle Joy calls the reunion.
The family drove from Clarksville to Cleveland to bring Sam home.
When he comes around the corner I'm like, that's him. Oh my God, that's him.
Joy says getting his dogs microchipped was the best money spent because this moment is priceless.
"It was like coming back home from a deployment and seeing your family for like a first time in a year," Joy said.
Joy says since Sam's return they have been inseparable.