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MACEDONIA – Michelle Davis was heartbroken when her pit-bull vanished four and a half years ago in North Carolina.

Then five years old, Shiny dug a hole and escaped under the fence.

“He liked to dig and play in the dirt,” Davis said. She said at first, she thought nothing of it. “He liked to do that because he liked to visit the neighbors for biscuits.”

But Shiny wasn’t with the neighbors. So Davis and her husband started a frantic search. They canvassed the neighborhood countless times and sent Shiny’s picture to every vet’s office and shelter they could think of.

“I would just yell for him until I had no voice left,” she said.

This wasn’t the first time Shiny vanished. He had been taken before. That time, Davis said his dognappers eventually dumped him because he wasn’t a good fighter, and Shiny eventually found his own way home.

This time was different, and Davis knew it. “I had given up hope of ever seeing him again. He’s a mama’s boy, and I knew he would come home if he could.”

A full 54 months went by with no sign of Shiny. Then this week Davis’ husband got a call from “Mendocino County Animal Shelter” in Ukiah, California. Somehow, Shiny ended up more than 2,000 miles from home, but was happy and healthy.

After Shiny went missing the first time, the Davises had him microchipped, and that’s how the shelter tracked them down.

Within days, they found a volunteer to drive Shiny halfway to meet up with with his long-lost mom.

Karen Shaver has worked with rescue organizations for more than a decade, and knew right away she wanted to be part of this sweet homecoming.

“It was a great experience to find a dog and the owner actually wanted him back,” said Shaver. “Especially after all this time.”

So Shaver and Shiny hit the road Monday, and met up with Davis Thursday morning in Macedonia.

There were laughs, tears and lots of tail wagging the moment Davis and Shiny saw each other.

“It’s like we’re finally together again!” said Davis. “I can’t wait to get him home.”