Dog lost for 2 years reunited with family

Dec. 16, 2006 at 3:22 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida family has its beloved dog back, two years after Sam I Am vanished during the 2004 hurricane season and somehow ended up near Chicago.

Alice Baines told WTVT-TV in Tampa that she and her children were distraught at the loss of the golden retriever. The dog escaped through a broken fence.

"I cried, my baby cried, my youngest just cried all over the place," Baines said.

A family in McHenry County in Illinois had given the dog a home. Animal control officials there said that someone in Florida may have found Sam and, thinking the dog's home had been destroyed in one of the major hurricanes that hit the state that year, arranged his trip north.

Sam was identified by a microchip implanted in his neck.

Baines said the dog was well cared for and had even gained some weight.

"Look at him, he didn't miss a meal," Baines said during a reunion at the Chicago airport.

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