It has the feeling of a sentimental blockbuster, with a rescue dog fighting against the odds to find his way home. Cooper the golden retriever, on the other hand, became a reality after walking 40 miles in 27 days to return to his prior owner.
Cooper escaped came by getting out of the car and “bundling his new owner out of the way” when he arrived at his new house. He subsequently ran for about a month as he began his trip from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to his old home of Tobermore, County Londonderry.
But, sadly, he had been abandoned by his previous owners, with whom he was desperate to reunite, along with his brother George, and spent days in kennels. He is now finally back with his new owner, Nigel Fleming, who said he “couldn’t believe” Cooper was now home after he “vanished in an instant” at the start of April, according to Yahoo.
The charity Lost Paws Northern Ireland, which helped Nigel, a photographer, in tracking down the adventurous pup, stated that the dog’s instinct carried him through the long trek through woods and main highways, escaping wary sheep farmers without human help.
Mr. Fleming had gotten Cooper from a kennel in the hopes that he would keep Molly, his other golden retriever, company. He expressed regret that he could not adopt George as well, but “three big goldens would have been too much for me to look after,” so he chose Cooper following a coin flip.
Speaking after Cooper’s dramatic journey, Mr. Fleming told Belfast Live: “I’m sitting here looking at him and I cannot believe he’s home. It was a disaster. The poor boy had no idea where he was and he was in the wind. I tried to chase after him but he was gone in an instant so then the search was on.
“We had literally driven from the dog pound to my home when he bolted.” He stated that he is relieved that Cooper is finally safe and eating modest meals to regain strength and weight after losing so much on his long journey.
Mr. Fleming said: “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.”
“I’m a very happy and relieved man,” he added.
Disappeared into a forest
He then ran away and the charity conducted door-to-door searches until finally locating him four miles away in a quiet lane. Again, charity workers set up cameras, but he disappeared. He was later observed more than ten miles north in another settlement when he disappeared into the wilderness.
Following more door-to-door searches, postering, video surveillance, and the use of a thermal drone, Lost Paws received a call from a member of the public who recognized Cooper from his previous residence and stated that he had run all the way there. After 27 days, the charity confirmed this and reunited him with Mr Fleming.
A spokesman for the charity, who said not much is known about Cooper’s previous history, said: “’It seems incredible that he was able to do this. But dogs are incredible and that’s why we work so hard to help them every day. “Cooper crossed main A roads, forests, fields, and 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 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.”