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Amazing Stories of Lost Dogs Who Found Their Owners
As a kid my favorite movie, hands down, wasHomeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. If you were a kid in the early '90s, this movie was probably a big part of your childhood too: It tells the story of a Bulldog named Chance (voiced by my ultimate childhood crush Michael J. Fox), a Golden Retriever named Shadow and a cat named Sassy who get separated from their owners. The trio go through a river, a waterfall, bears and mountain lions to (spoiler alert!) make it home to their humans, all in time for Thanksgiving. Heart-melting stuff, right?
Well, thankfully for me and my very spoiled Pug Blossom, it turns out that Homeward Bound isn't too far from the realm of possibility! There are countless stories of dogs who have beaten all odds to miraculously find their owners, sometimes covering numerous miles and numerous years. These stories aren't fiction — they're stranger than fiction.
Prince the Shih Tzu Returns after Five Years
This has got to be some kind of record. An adorable Californian pup named Prince went missing one day, and his beloved owner Myrna Carillo was heartbroken. Imagine her surprise when, in 2011, Prince showed his smiling face at her front door a whole five years later — and that's not all — after Carillo had moved houses not once or twice, but four times! By then, Carillo had gotten married and had two boys, but that didn't stop her from instantly identifying Prince as her long-lost Shih Tzu, and it didn't stop Prince from instantly recognizing his long-lost owner. Now Prince is a member of the family again, and apparently, Carillo's two sons love him. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is!
Chicago Dog Takes the 'L' Train Home
As a lifelong Chicagoan, this one literally hits pretty close to home. About a year ago, a Logan Square resident and diehard dog lover named Thomas Hightower had left his Bichon Frise, Tippy, in the care of a dog walking service while he was away at work. While the dog walker turned his back for "no more than a couple seconds" to attend to another pup, Tippy apparently got startled and ran off. (Obviously Hightower wasn't using me and Blossom's favorite resource for dog walkers in Chicago, or else this never would have happened!). As a freelance dog walker, I can say that we’re insanely dedicated to all of our pups.
According to one Good Samaritan who spotted the fluffy Bichon and quickly filed a police report, Tippy remembered her human's commute down to the exact blue line stop, and hopped on the next train home several miles away. By the time Hightower got home from the office, Tippy was waiting patiently at his doorstep, with her leash in her mouth. Amazing!
Visitation Hours: Husky Follows Owner to Hospital
Maybe even more touching than Homeward Bound, this story involves one hospitalized man and one heartbroken dog who just couldn't take the separation. When John Dolan in Islip, N.Y., checked into a local hospital with a skin condition, he was more than shocked when he received a strange phone call: His dog Zander was standing outside, and he needed to come down and get him!
Zander, a beyond-adorable white Samoyed-Husky mixed breed, had snuck out of his home and traveled over two miles to be reunited with his bed-ridden companion, which doesn't sound so impressive until you take into account that Zander crossed a four-lane highway, a bus overpass and a stream to get there. And the most amazing part? Zander had never even been to that hospital before!
German Shepherd Won't Leave Owner's Grave
Talk about heartbreaking — this story doesn't have to do with a lost pup, but the word "miraculous" doesn't even do this one justice. When Manuel Guzman died in 2006, his loyal dog Capitán began sitting by his grave in Argentina, occasionally leaving to get some time with the family, but always returning to the gravesite by nightfall. Wait for it: Capitán has been doing this same routine for the past six years!
Guzman's family says they visit the grave and the ever-vigilant Capitán every Sunday, and don't have the heart to pull the dog away from his best friend. How Capitán even found Guzman's grave is still a mystery — the dog had never even been to that cemetery before Guzman's death — but, if one thing's for sure, this moving story brings a whole new meaning to the term "best friends forever." Anyone else in need of a tissue or two right now?
One Beagle's Long Journey Home
A story that sounds like it's straight out of Balto: While his family, the LePages, were vacationing at a Canadian cottage, a Beagle named Laser got freaked out by a fireworks show (sounds like my Pug!) and bolted through the woods. After a thorough search, the LePages returned to their Winnipeg home about 50 miles away. The family, of course, posted flyers over nearly every surface of their hometown and hoped for the best.
The calls started rolling in from people who had spotted Laser, but couldn't catch him. With every call the LePages received, it seemed as though the lost Beagle was getting closer and closer to their suburban neighborhood. A full six weeks after he went missing, they received a call from an elementary school just a mile from their house — Laser was there, and had been sent to a nearby animal shelter. When the family and their adored pup were reunited, Laser was unharmed and elated to finally, after a month and a half and 50 miles, see his family again. More tissues, please!