Nearly four years after vanishing from Louisiana and somehow ending up almost 1,000 miles away, an adorable Yorkie has made a real-life "Homeward Bound" journey back to his owner.
On April 14, Sam the Yorkie was found on a playground at a school in Iowa, 944 miles away from his 14-year-old owner Karissa Lambert and her family in Bridge City, Louisiana. Animal control officers in Cedar Rapids told WGNO he was underweight and suffering from skin allergies and tooth damage when they recovered him. But he had one advantage those "Homeward Bound" pets didn't have: a microchip embedded in his skin.
That's how Sam's rescuers eventually located the Lambert family. United Airlines put the pup on a first class flight to New Orleans, where Karissa and her family were waiting to reunite with him at 4 a.m. Wednesday (April 29).
Karissa received Sam as a present on her fourth birthday, and about four years ago he went missing. The family thinks he may have escaped through a hole in their fence. As to how he ended up all the way in Iowa, that's a mystery. The Lamberts suspect a dognapper must have been involved for part of the journey.
That would be some Cruella de Vil evilness, but somehow Sam managed to survive the long trip.
Watch WGNO's full news report and Sam's adorable homecoming below: