Dog escapes new home ‘and walks 40 miles back to family who got rid of him’
A GOLDEN retriever escaped its new family and walked 40 miles back to the family who had dumped him in a kennels, it has been claimed.
Cooper went missing for almost a month after running away from his new owner in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The pooch’s previous owners had abandoned him along with his brother George.
Photographer Nigel Fleming, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, adopted him as a pal for his golden retriever Molly.
Just hours after taking him home on April 1 Nigel went to take Cooper and Molly for a walk, but Cooper bolted the second the car door was opened.
He spent 27 days on the run and allegedly travelled 40 miles from Dungannon town centre to Cookstown, Magherafelt and finally to Tobermore, where he’d been a puppy.
Cooper is now eating small meals to build up his weight after the ordeal, Nigel told Belfast Live.
Nigel, who wasn’t able to adopt Cooper’s brother George, added: “Hopefully now he is home for good but I’ve some added precautions in place if he ever feels the need to bolt again. He has been through a lot.”
A spokesperson for Lost Paws NI, said: “Cooper is a clever boy. Instinct took him back to a place he was familiar with. How he did it, I’ll never know but he managed it. No food, no shelter, no help, just dogged determination and that incredible nose.
“We had searches in place, day and night and we had tracked him back to a spot where we lost him again but now we know he was almost back in the area where he’d started before he was given to the dog pound.
“It seems incredible that he was able to do this – but dogs are incredible and that’s what we work to hard to help them every day.
“Cooper crossed main ‘A’ roads, forests, fields, country roads all over 27 days to make his way back to his old home from an area he’d never been in before.
“We are absolutely delighted to have been part of his rescue and a story that will live on in his family for generations to come.”
Cooper’s story closely resembles the 1943 film Lassie, where an intelligent sheepdog sets out to return to his owner after being sold when the family come under financial strain.