Cats and dogs are incredible creatures, and their habits and talents often little understood. How on earth could a dog travel thousands of miles across the country to find home? How did a cat, that had only ever lived indoors, figure out how to navigate 200 miles back home? Scientists are still unsure about how our pets can manage such incredible journeys. Is it their sense of smell? Is it that they pay attention to their surroundings and remember the way home? Is it because they have the natural skills to survive in the wild? Whatever the reason, click through to read all about some amazing animal journeys.
These successful reunions may be heart-warming, but there are likely other, unhappy stories of pets that couldn’t be identified. Moral of the story? Always have ID tags on your pets — you never know where they might end up!
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1. Holly, the Indoor Cat Who Traveled 200 Miles
Just recently, Holly the indoor cat ran away from her family’s R.V. some 200 miles away from their home in Florida. And, two months later, she showed up less than a mile from her home. Her journey was not an easy one — Holly was weak, she’d lost a lot of weight, and she was staggering. But she was alive, and she had navigated her way, almost certainly without the help of humans (otherwise, Holly probably would have been in better health), all the way home.
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2. Bobbie the Wonderdog
Of all the times for your beloved pet to wander off, being on a road trip thousands of miles from home is one of the least ideal situations. That’s what happened to Bobbie, who was separated from his family in Indiana, some 2,800 miles from his home. But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending! After his family gave up hope that they’d ever find him, they returned to their home in Silverton, Oregon, and, six months later, Bobbie showed up at their front door! Bobbie’s amazing journey made him a celebrity in 1923, and he even played himself in a silent film.
3. Zander the Loyal Companion
Many pets have become famous for the distance they travel, but Zander the husky gets points for his unwavering devotion to his pet parent. When John Dolan was hospitalized in New York for a skin condition, his loyal pooch Zander was visibly distraught. This master escape artist snuck out of his home and traveled over 2 miles to find out where his beloved companion was. And he found him — nurses told Dolan that Zander was waiting outside of the doors of the hospital.
4. Buck, Who Traveled 500 Miles to Find his Pet Parent
When Mark Wessells was moving, he decided to leave his beloved black labrador with his father some 500 miles away from his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But Buck had other plans – he wanted to stay with his pet parents. Buck escaped from the yard and the family was never able to find him. A few months later, a man found Buck wandering around a neighborhood back home in Myrtle Beach, and when he couldn’t find anyone to claim the dog, decided to keep him. He took him to the vet, who checked for a microchip. Buck was reunited with Wessells, and the rest is history!
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5. Emily, The Cat Who Traveled from Wisconsin to France
How did a cat cross an ocean? By wandering into a shipping container, of course. Emily wandered into a paper company’s distribution center near her hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. The shipping container made stops in Chicago and Belgium before making it to its final destination in Nancy, France. Workers there read her tags and called her vet back in the United States. Emily was eventually reunited with her family — and she even flew first class back home!
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6. Capitán, the Devoted Companion
You might need to break out the tissues for this one. Capitán the German Shepard was crushed when his human companion passed away in 2006. He even ran away from home, leaving the rest of the family behind. After searching high and low for the devastated pooch, the family finally found him: at his human companion’s grave site. Capitán had never been to the site, leading the family to believe that he found it by tracking the man’s scent. And, for the past six years, Capitán refused to budge.