PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --A month to the day a dog went missing in North Carolina, the pup will return home for the holidays after he appeared in Pennsylvania.
Happy, healthy and far from home, 3-year-old Max is something of a Christmas miracle.
So how did Max end up in Pennsylvania?
It turns out after the dog first went missing in North Carolina, a woman in that state found Max. After a scan of Max's microchip did not provide any information, the woman kept the dog.
She then took a trip to Delaware County, Pennsylvania and brought Max along. Then, for a second time, Max fled.
Delaware County animal control officer Lisa Stewart says kids found him in Chester and brought him to Eddystone police.
This time a microchip scan revealed his identity.
Now, he's recovering from his journey at Philadelphia Animal Hospital.
From High Point, North Carolina, specifically, Max's journey spanned four states over a month's time.
His owner, Traci Harrison, tells Action News she and her daughter Emily didn't believe the call from animal control.
We reached Traci by phone Thursday.
"I thought there's no way. My dog is missing here in North Carolina, but he said we have your dog," Harrison said.
They sent her a picture and she knew.
"Without a doubt that's Max, he's my buddy, he sleeps on my bed every night," Harrisons said.
Normally, it would take a week to get him home, but Max's owner wants him back for Christmas. He'll be on a flight to North Carolina Friday.
"No, I want him home. This is the best Christmas, I don't know words to describe it," Harrison said. "I got a Christmas bonus, it's going right back out the door to pay to get Max home, to pay for the vet bill, and to pay to have him boarded tonight, but I don't care."
On the day Max went missing, Traci's dad was given three days to live.
On the same day she learned her dog was returning home, she learned good news about her father's health - he's on his way to a recovery.