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      Missing dog reunited with owner after 500 mile journey

      MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - Dogs get lost from their owners all the time and in many cases they never return home. But thanks to a microchip, Mark Wessells was reunited with his dog Friday after being separated for months.

      Bucky is a 3-year-old black labrador and very friendly. Wessells describes Bucky as his best friend.

      "Dogs are loyal and he's just really smart. He knows, I can have a conversation with him and he'll talk back," he explains. "I thought he was gone forever until today."

      In January, Wessells left Bucky with his dad in Virginia because he couldn't have a dog at his home in Myrtle Beach. But a short time later Bucky disappeared. Somehow he traveled nearly 500 miles to the Grand Strand.

      Two weeks ago he was taken in by a family in Carolina Forest. The temporary owner brought him to Grand Strand Animal Hospital where they discovered a microchip. They called Wessells to let him know they had Bucky.

      "I thought I was going to cry, but I didn't. He definitely recognized me instantly," he adds. "It's just crazy he made it down here on his own. You know it's like Homeward Bound is what I'm thinking."

      "That's kind of what we live for. You know we're happy to see these good endings and people who actually take the advice of the shelters, the humane society's the veterinary clinics to microchip their animals," explains Dr. Amanda Thomas, a veterinarian at Grand Strand Animal Hospital.

      Exactly how Bucky made it here is still in question.

      "He must've found his way back because animals have an amazing sense of smell and direction," adds Dr. Thomas.

      It also looks like Bucky had some determination to be back in the arms of his owner as well.