It can be devastating when your cherished dog goes missing. Fortunately, most lost dogs don’t stray far, often turning up in neighbors’ gardens and nearby parks. However, some dogs have been known to wander incredible distances, vanishing for long periods of time, reappearing in strange, far-away places, and surviving seemingly unbeatable odds. Here are five real, heart-warming stories of incredible canine journeys.
Some dogs seem to have a powerful and mysterious sixth sense, like Sarah Walter’s dog, Brieze. Sarah had left her Collie cross with a dog-sitter for the day. However, she soon got a call to say that Brieze had escaped into a neighbouring field — and there was no sign of him.
Brieze was next spotted on the busy M5 motorway, where he was hit by a car travelling at 70mph. A distraught Sarah combed the surrounding area, but to no avail. Devastated, she headed back home, convinced her dog couldn’t have survived the collision.
At 4:50 a.m., a full 18 hours since the dog had vanished, Sarah received another call. This time, it was from her parents: Brieze had turned up in their garden, 10 miles away in Leckhampton.
Brieze had only ever visited the house by car before, so how he knew where to go is a real mystery. “He must have an inbuilt navigation system,” Sarah said. Fortunately, he had only suffered minor injuries, and was soon back to his usual self.
Another dog who shares Brieze’s sixth sense is Ben, a German Shepherd mix from Terre Haute, Indiana. Ben was once a stray, living on the streets with his companion, Jade. Volunteers from a local animal shelter eventually caught the two dogs and put them both up for adoption.
Tragedy struck when the Lawler family visited the shelter. Unable to provide a home to both dogs, they chose to adopt Ben, separating him from his female friend.
Three weeks passed without incident. But one night, Ben bolted out of the house, and disappeared into the cold and wintry night. Twenty-four hours later, he showed up at the animal shelter -– 10 miles away. Like Brieze, he’d only made the journey by car .
The shelter staff were stunned, but quickly realized he’d returned to be with Jade. The Lawler family decided that separating the dogs again would be cruel, and adopted both of them.
When Rose Sharman was involved in a serious car accident which saw her thrown through the windscreen of her SUV, her life changed dramatically. She now had to use a wheelchair, but she also had to cope with the loss of her two dogs. One had tragically died in the crash, while year-old puppy Ily had survived, fleeing the scene in terror.
Volunteers from the local community began searching for Ily in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Phoenix. Two months after the crash, the searchers managed to catch two dogs who had been roaming the area together. Sure enough, one of them was the missing Ily — who was swiftly reunited with Rose.
Rose credits the other dog, nicknamed Buddy, for keeping her cherished pet alive. Buddy was still wearing a collar when the pair was found, and was eventually reunited with his own family.
Australian Cattle Dogs are known for their robust and hardy nature. Sophie Tucker, known as the “castaway dog,” is no exception — she defied all the odds to survive and be reunited with her family.
During a sailing trip off the coast of Queensland, beloved family pet Sophie fell overboard into rough seas. Failing to find her in the choppy waters, the family eventually headed back to shore, believing Sophie to have drowned.
Unbelievably, she was still very much alive. She managed to swim through the shark-infested waters to the sparsely inhabited St. Bees Island, six miles away from where she’d fallen into the sea.
She survived by turning feral, hunting the island’s native goat population. Five months later she was caught by local rangers, and eventually returned to her delighted family.
Truck driver Jaime Magaña got the shock of his life when he pulled into a car park in San Clemente. Spotting fur sticking out of his truck’s wheel arch, he realized there was an animal trapped inside. Fearing the worst, he gingerly opened the bonnet — to find a dog staring up at him, faintly wagging its tail.
Incredibly, the Keeshond–Tibetan Spaniel had survived the 110-mile journey, on one of the hottest days of the year. The dog miraculously emerged completely unscathed from the ordeal, despite being wedged next to a scalding engine for several hours.
The dog, dubbed “Chevy” by a local animal shelter, wasn’t microchipped, and an extensive search failed to reveal his past owners. In a heart-warming conclusion to the story, the truck driver eventually adopted him. He now goes by the name of Houdini — for his incredible escape from death.
This article was written by Ben Wosskow of Love Home Swap, a leading home exchange holiday site.
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