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When a pet goes missing, people often continue to hope for its safe return. Although some owners never get that happy ending they're wishing for, one Raleigh, North Carolina, family is rejoicing after an unlikely reunion with their dog. The Metcalf family lost their 11-year-old black-and-white border collie mix, Cassie, almost four years ago while she was being watched by a relative.
Two weeks ago, Cassie wandered into the neighborhood of Cheryl Smith in Gaston County -- more than 190 miles from Raleigh. Smith decided to try to find Cassie's owner by contacting local veterinarians. Smith told local TV station WBTV, "I felt like if it was my dog, I would want someone to do that for me." She also said that she did not want to just drop the dog off at an animal shelter.
Luckily, Cassie had been implanted with a microchip that had data on it with her owner's information. The only problem was, the address was outdated because the Metcalf family had moved. Smith was persistent, and with the help of the Gaston County animal shelter, she was able to find Cassie's family.
All that was left was to reunite them. In the video, shot by CBS News, Cassie seems standoffish at first, but as she begins to recognize the Metcalfs, she warms to them and seems happy to see them again. Brandy Metcalf said of Cassie's return, "This is the best day of our lives." Brandy's husband David said of getting Cassie back, "I only wish I could see it through her eyes. It kind of reminds me of a Disney movie."
The Metcalfs also noted how glad they are that they had put a microchip in Cassie, but mentioned how important it is to keep the information up-to-date. Microchipping is becoming a popular tool for pet owners to help speed the recovery of a lost animal. A microchip, about the size of a large grain of rice, is placed under the animal's skin. The unique ID code it contains is read by passing a microchip scanner over it.