A lot of people have experienced the the horror of a missing pet. One minute they're in the yard playing happily, the next you're making up missing pet posters to put around the neighborhood. Most of the time, hopefully, the pet finds their way home and owner and dog/cat/snake/name an animal are reunited.
But sometimes, although I bet not that often, a pet goes missing and then turns up alive and well(ish) seven years—yes SEVEN YEARS—later. That's the remarkable story behind a black and white Border Collie named Sammy who disappeared when he was six months old.
It was over seven years ago he went missing from his owners', Nikki and Simon, yard in Perth, Australia so they were stunned when WISH Animal rescue rang them up to say their missing dog had turned up at Foothills Animal Hospital in Armadale in Perth.
The reason they were able to locate the couple is because Sammy had been microchipped. No one really knows where Sammy had been those seven long years, but his fur was in bad condition, he had open infected wounds, closed abscesses, ear infections and patchy fur from fleas. But as well as the physical scars he also seemed to be mentally fraught and had suffered some emotional trauma.
But, vets looked after him and nursed him back to health and although he now looks older than his ten years and is deaf, he's happy again and full of charm.
Plus, now that he's happily reunited with Nikki and Simon, he's also gained a brother too. Because the couple adopted another Border Collie when Sammy didn't return called Billie, and you can see the two of them enjoying life together in the photos below, taken by photographer Kelly Pilgrim-Byrnes.
"There was a gentle wisdom that washed over us from Sam during his photo shoot with us at Perth beach,’ said Pilgrim-Byrnes. "Even with the neglect he suffered at the hands of humans, he didn’t hesitate trotting over to us the second we got out of the car, bum and tail wagging, asking for a pat. Where Sam was and what happened to him in those 7 years nobody will ever know for sure, but I do know that WISH Animal Rescue and Foothills Animal Hospital saved his life that day so that his original family could heal his soul."