Any pet parent can tell you that the thought of losing their pet is one of the worst things they could be faced with. Animal lovers know that our pets are an important part of our family and most of us can't imagine our days without them.
Peter Johnson experienced this heartbreak when his sweet dog, Sammy, went missing. "She went outside to go to the bathroom like she did every other day with my other dog. The other dog came back, she didn't," said Johnson.
The search began using flyers and Facebook posts being sent out while they looking in cornfields and shelters but there were no sightings. "We searched about a 6-mile-square radius,” he said. “To me, it was like the dog just vanished. You would think somebody would have some sort of idea where she was.”
People would report sightings, but when Johnson would look into them, it was never Sammy. He started to lose hope. It wasn't until two years later that he started to received a bunch of messages from the people he knew saying, "I think this is your dog."
When he opened it, he couldn't believe his eyes. There was a dog who was almost "an exact match" but she still looked wrong. “At first, I didn’t even think it was my dog. She’d lost so much weight, but the markings were the same." He knew he had to investigate it, so he drove 100 miles to go check it out.
He was nervous about going to see the dog, especially having had his hopes crushed before, but he had to try...
Sammy was discovered by Suzanne Davis. “I was in my kitchen when I saw this dog running from one side of my house to the other, playing with my dogs who are in a fence. You could tell she was living rough. She was so skinny,” Davis said. “She was scared to death of me. I coaxed her into the garage and I almost had to carry her.”
“She wanted to come to me, but she was scared of me. Not like a wild dog,” Davis said. She managed to get her to come into her garage and find her family. She posted the dog on Facebook and luckily Johnson's friends were able to find him and let him know. Johnson left for Norfolk immediately to go see the dog.
Johnson approached his dog cautiously, because she had become so skittish in her two year adventure. “He came in and was very gentle,” Davis said of Johnson. “[Sammy] came up and laid down next to him. It did take her a little bit to warm up all the way to him. I think she was just not sure. When they (dogs) have been living rough and been in and out of people’s yards and been yelled at, it takes a little while."
But Sammy was finally back with the people who loved her. Not only that, but her fellow dog companions were happy to see her again. Johnson's other two dogs, Gunner and Sadie, were thrilled to see her again. “She cuddled up right in between them and before we got to the vet, she [Sammy] wouldn’t leave Sadie’s side,” Johnson said.
The family is happy to be back together, and she's relearning how it feels to be safe. “She’s opening up minute by minute. Nothing some food, fluid and love can’t take care of," Johnson said.