By Erin Nicole
New Orleans, LA (WGNO) -- This little guy has been on quite the adventure, but at 4 a.m. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a Yorkie, named Sam, awaits the most incredible journey yet — one first class flight home to New Orleans.
It has been almost four years since Sam went missing from him home in Louisiana. He was eventually found by animal control at a school playground 944 miles away in Iowa.
"When we picked him up, he did have a very severe skin allergy and his teeth were in very poor condition, the vet had to pull ten of his teeth and nine were already missing," says Michelle Johnson from Animal Care and Control in Cedar Rapids.
But he did have one thing that ultimately led to his reunion, a microchip. That's how they were able to locate the Lambert family all the way in Bridge City, La. to give them the news.
"All those years I thought I would never see him again and here I am with my dog back home, I'm really happy about it," says Karissa Lambert.
Sam was her fourth birthday present, and she was devastated when he escaped through a hole in their fence. It was an emotional homecoming with so many people invested in his safe return.
"I say it's a blessing, of all places he had a trip to come here to come get me," Lambert said.
"It's crazy because I flew many times and I've never flown first class," says her father, Thomas Lambert.
"We didn't think twice, we knew right away we had to help and it's been a great day," says Charlie Hobart from United Airlines.
Finally, Sam has a warm bed in a safe home with a loving family and one heck of a story to tell.
"I bet you it would be a very interesting story, I wish he could tell us," says Thomas Lambert.
"Every time I see a Yorkie I always thought it was him, and now it is him, I can't believe it," says Karissa Lambert.
For updates and local coverage of this story, visit FOX 13 News sister station WGNO.