IT WAS a million to one chance!
Ten years after he went missing from his Barry home, Chance the dog has been reunited with his delighted family.
Missing for the best part of a decade, Chance the Staffordshire bull terrier is now back at home with owner Sion Cox, who last saw his pal when he was 11 years old.
Sion's mother Julie Coombes explained how the incredible story began when Chance disappeared from her garden on Elizabeth Avenue ten years ago.
The heartbroken family spent months searching for three-year-old Chance, putting up posters and notices online, with no success.
Julie, 44, said: "You never really stop looking. You go places and you see a dog and think 'Is that him'?"
Nevertheless, the letter Julie received from a kennel in Newport saying they had found her dog was the last thing she expected.
Assuming at first they mistakenly meant one of her current pets, both safe at home, a phonecall confirmed that the dog's microchip had identified him as Chance.
She said: "Sion walked through the door to hear me say 'Never? You've got Chance!' We were all quite emotional."
"I didn't really believe it," said Sion. "I just thought it can't be him."
Chance had been found abandoned, grossly neglected and in poor health in a Newport underpass.
Julie and Sion went to visit the dog despite being told to expect the worst.
"As soon as Sion said his name, that was it. They were back together," said Julie. "We could see he wasn't well but there was no way we were leaving him, we said we've got to get him home."
Chance has now gone to live with student Sion, who couldn't be happier to have his old friend back.
"It's crazy," he said. "I never thought he would come back, at all.
"His back legs have gone, he's got a few things wrong with him, he's just been really neglected but he's eating well and he loves going out for a walk.
"Any time I leave he cries, I can't leave him on his own. He's more than happy here though, he's pretty chilled out.
"I just want to keep him going as long as possible now. If that's six months, ten months or two years I want to give him the best life possible."