Newly-Adopted Dog Walks For Nearly A Month And Over 40 Miles To Get Back To Former Home

A Golden Retriever is safely back in his new home after making an epic journey to his old house in Northern Ireland. Cooper had just been adopted and was being driven to his new home when he escaped.

What followed was an adventure that saw Cooper trek for over 40 miles and 27 days.

On April 1st, Cooper’s new dad, Nigel Fleming was pulling into the driveway of his home when Cooper jumped out of the car window and ran away.

From the moment Cooper escaped, Nigel began searching for his new dog. He reached out to the local animal shelter and to Lost Paws NI – Lost and Found Pets, a pet finding group for help.

“Cooper was an extremely timid dog in a new environment and managed to slip from his owner which is when his adventure began,” Lost Paws NI – Lost and Found Pets, shared on Facebook.

The pet rescue group set up feeding stations around the area and knocked door-to-door, talking to all the locals. They soon began to receive news about Cooper.

The rescuers wrote, “Several farmers reported seeing him, but as he was not posing any risk to his sheep they let him on his way (Thank you so much) – after several days Cooper vanished from where he had been staying and there were no leads or further information for a number of days.”

Several weeks passed before Nigel and the group received a tip that Cooper had been seen on April 22nd in a further-away village “making his way through fields and hanging around local properties.”

They quickly went to the area and again canvassed the neighbors, put up flyers and put up feeding stations. Every time there was a food bowl to fill Nigel would fill it. “Nigel never stopped fighting, never stopped asking for advice, never stopped filling the food bowls every-time we were on the move,” Lost Paws NI wrote.

But again they had no luck locating Cooper. Six more days passed. The dog navigated mostly at night, which accounted for the lack of sightings. Then, on April 28, they finally received a call that Cooper had been spotted at the property in Tobermore, Co Londonderry where he began his life as a puppy!

“Cooper crossed main A roads, forests, fields, country roads all over 27 days to make his way back home from an area he had never been in before,” marvelled Lost Paws NI.

The person who called them was “certain it was him.” So the rescuers immediately contacted Nigel and they rushed to the town to get Cooper.

Soon, Cooper was resting cozily at his new home with his new sister. Nigel told BelfastLive that he had adopted Cooper from the animal shelter because he thought he would be “good company” for his other goldie Molly.

“I’m sitting here looking at him and I cannot believe he’s home. We had literally driven from the dog pound to my home when he bolted.” He is amazed how Cooper managed to navigate all the way back to his old home. “In the end all we had to do was follow a dog’s nose home to familiar surroundings. If only we’d known, we could have saved big Cooper all that anxiety. 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.”

Lost Paws NI shared that Cooper is doing well. “Cooper is settling in well to his new home life with his sister and is enjoying some home comforts,” they wrote in an update on Facebook. “We visited him several days ago when he was caught and he was cuddled up by the fire comfortable and loved.”

For Nigel, he says he’s extremely grateful for the help he received. “Even when he was missing, my faith in humanity was restored thanks to the incredible help I was offered, and today with him here by my side and with Molly, I don’t really have the words to explain the gratitude I feel.”

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