SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Ralph Johnson got the surprise of his life Wednesday after he thought he had found the body of his lost dog, a young border collie mix named Cognac.
Johnson said the dog appeared to have been hit by a car and its head had been covered with a cloth. It had Cognac's black and brown coloring.
The same day he took the dog's body to have it cremated, Johnson said he got a text from Sacramento's Front Street Animal Shelter.
They said someone had turned in a dog and his microchip identified him as Cognac.
"They said he was alive,” Johnson told FOX40. “I said, ‘What do you mean he's alive? Was he in a coma or something?’”
Johnson took time off from work to claim his beloved dog, the first one he's ever owned and a pet that he has bonded with.
"It shows there are lot of responsible pet owners, there are a lot of great pets and when we can reunite the two it makes for the best days," said Bobby Mann, communications director at Front Street.
The shelter offers microchipping for just $5. It comes with the $85 adoption package that includes licensing, spaying and neutering.
Front Street says a microchip is the best way to identify a pet if it wanders away from home.
Johnson said he feels his good fortune is also Cognac's and predicts a great new year ahead.
"I never had something like a dog that relates to me the way he relates to me and it's a special bond," he said. "I'm so happy to see him and he's just as happy to see me."