How a lost pet is able to find their way back home is still a mystery. What’s even more remarkable is how some pets can find their owner no matter where they are. Whether it’s a homing instinct or a determined desire to be with the person they love, some lost pets have traveled far to find their home or owner. For a lost pet, there’s danger around every corner, but these dogs and cats never gave up.
Howie, a three year old Persian cat, traveled 1,200 miles through the Australian Outback in 1978 to find his way home. When Kirsten Hicks and her family went on an overseas vacation, they left Howie with her grandparents. After returning to Australia, Kirsten was told Howie had disappeared, so the Hicks family returned to their home in Adelaide with heavy hearts. In the meantime, Howie was traveling through the inhospitable lands of the Outback heading towards home. No one knows what he encountered or went through, but a year later he finally made it back home, dirty, hungry, thirsty and with an injured paw. Howie had walked from the Gold Coast, Queensland to Adelaide.
Prince, an Irish Terrier, moved with his family during WW I from Ireland to England in 1914. His owner, Private Brown, was serving in the army and went home on leave every chance he got to visit his wife and Prince. Each time he returned to base, Prince grew sadder. Finally, Private Brown was shipped overseas to France. Prince grew more depressed and stopped eating. One day he disappeared and Mrs. Brown frantically searched for him. She knew she had to write her husband and let him know what had happened. Brown was holed up in the trenches of Armentieres, in Northern France, when he got her letter. What Mrs. Brown didn’t know was that Prince had found his way to the English Channel and somehow got on a boat or swam across the water. When he reached France, he searched the war torn land as bombs exploded and tear gas filled the air to find Private Brown in the trenches. What Prince accomplished was truly an amazing act of courage and love.
Nick, a German Shepherd, belonged to Doug Simpson. In 1979, Nick was lost while on a camping trip with Doug. Unable to find him, Doug had no choice but to return to his home in Selah, Washington. Nick was lost in the Arizona Desert some 2,000 miles away. The dog had to fend for herself in some of the most inhospitable land on earth. She had to cross deserts where water was nowhere to be found, swim freezing rivers, cross over 12,000 foot mountains and navigate the Grand Canyon on her way home. She arrived four months later, just a shell of the dog she was. Doug could see her difficult journey in her emaciated, bloody and battered body. It was obvious there was no obstacle tough enough to keep Nick from getting back home to the person she loved.
Sugar, a two year old Persian cat, didn’t like traveling in a car because of a hip deformity that made it uncomfortable for him to ride for long distances. In 1951, the Woods family decided to leave their home in Anderson, California and move to a farm in Gage, Oklahoma. They decided it would be better to let Sugar be adopted by a neighbor. Sugar apparently didn’t like his new digs and three weeks after his family moved, he headed out to find them. It’s one thing for a pet to find their way back to a home they’re familiar with, but Sugar traveled 1,500 miles in search of a home he had never been to. It took him fourteen months, but he was successful in his quest and when he saw his owner, he leaped up on her shoulder.
Sophie Tucker would have followed her heart to find her home, if there hadn’t been an ocean between her and her owner. A gray and black cattle dog, Sophie Tucker was with her family on their yacht when bad weather hit around the coastal town of Mackay, Queensland. She fell overboard and became lost in the ocean. She had to navigate through rough, shark infested waters, swimming six miles to St. Bees Island. After she got to the island, she survived by hunting wild goats. Wildlife rangers were called in to investigate when several carcasses were found, and there they discovered the lost dog. Sophie Tucker didn’t have to travel far to get home, but she did have to overcome great odds to make it to the island in the first place and then survive on her own.
Never underestimate the power of a strong bond, and the unconditional love of a pet!
Read more articles by Linda Cole
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