Mount Holly, NC (WBTV) - A family from the Raleigh area was reunited today with the dog they thought was lost forever.
9 year old Cassie was staying with the Metcalf family's sister more than three years ago when she ran off.
The Metcalf family thought that was the last they'd see of their beloved dog they'd had since she was a puppy.
Fast forward three years to September 11th of 2012. Cassie wanders into Cheryl Smith's neighborhood.
Of course, Smith didn't know anything about the dog. There was no collar, no identifying tags.
Instead of just taking her to a shelter, Smith worked tirelessly visiting veterinarian after veterinarian to try to find Cassie's owner.
"I felt like if it was my dog I would want someone to do that for me," Smith said.
It turns out Cassie was micro chipped -and with the help of the Gaston County animal shelter they tracked down her owners in Raleigh.
"The wife could not even speak because she was in tears. She handed the phone to her husband," Smith said.
That phone call was nothing compared to the reunion that happened when the Metcalf family drove here today to pick up their dog. It's impossible to describe the sheer joy. Watch it happen in the video on this page.
"Oh my gosh this is the best day of our lives," said Brandy Metcalf during the reunion.
"I only wish I could see it through her eyes to find out what she experienced. This reminds me of a Disney movie," her husband David added.
The family says Cassie had only lost a few pounds and was moving a little slower. She was still the same dog they remember though and Cassie seemed to remember them within seconds of the reunion.
A reunion credited to a tiny piece of technology and a stranger who simply did what she would have wanted someone to do for her.
"Ms. Smith is just a saint. I can't even explain what they've done for us. We are thrilled and grateful and in debt to them," Brandy Metcalf added.
The family says if Cassie had not been micro chipped they never would have found her. They say its so important to keep those record up to date and if you move you should update your information with the micro chipping company.
They also want to hear from anyone else whose paths may have crossed Cassie's over that three and a half years so they can say thank you for helping to take care of her.