People who need directions rely on GPS. However, dogs seem to be born with an innate sense that will help them find their way home even if they are hundreds of miles away. Even though scientists don’t understand how this is possible, many cases demonstrate a dog’s ability to find its way home even when it seems impossible. According to Time, one dog walked eleven miles from his new home to his former foster family even though he’d been taken to his new house in a car and couldn’t possibly know the route by typical dog instincts. In 2013, a cat was lost and found its way home across two hundred miles. It took him two months to accomplish this feat, but he was determined to find his family. One of the things scientists most attribute a dog’s ability to find its way home is its sense of smell. Animals notice different scents in their area and use them to chart a path to where they want to go and who they want to find. Even though stories like the dog who found his foster mama without smells to go on are miraculous. Then there are other miracles in the canine world, dogs who are reunited with owners who thought they were lost years after they’ve given up hope. Perhaps it’s not a sense of smell like scientists believe, but deep love dogs have for their humans and an unconditional bond that doesn’t break when a dog knows he’s found his forever home.
A woman took a four-year-old dog to the Wisconsin shelter, hoping someone would give the little brown dog a good home. Once he was at the Wisconsin Humane Society, he had a difficult time adjusting. Worried, the media coordinator decided to put him on the news. She hoped someone would be willing to work with the little guy and help him through his anxiety. A few minutes after the Adopt-A-Pet Segment on Fox6 News, a man named Dwight called the shelter wanting to bring the tiny dog home. In an exciting twist, this had already been the dog’s home once. Dwight recognized the overbite and knew immediately it was his family’s dog, Payday. Even stranger, the man never slept with the TV on, but he fell asleep watching TV, and the first thing he saw in the morning was Payday’s face. Two years earlier, Payday was out with Dwight’s daughter when he got lost. Even though they looked everywhere for him, they never found him until featured on the news. It was an emotional reunion for Payday and his family. He immediately jumped on his fur mama’s lap and started licking her face.
Claudia Labbee, a volunteer with Your Humane Society SPCA, found a malnourished, tan Chihuahua on the streets of Sumter County, Florida. When she tried to rescue him and take him to the shelter, he didn’t shy away. In fact, he all but dove into her arms. Once they got him to the shelter, they checked for a microchip and luckily found one. However, they were not prepared for what they discovered. Alex’s owner’s lived over 200 miles away from where he was found, and the family hadn’t seen him in six years. His family adopted him when he was two months old. He had two human brothers and a fur brother named Thunder. When he disappeared, Thunder had gone to his grandma’s for a while. Alex was so upset; he dug a hole under the fence to look for him. Over the years, the family realized they were probably never going to see him again. When they got the call, they were shocked but sad because Alex wouldn’t recognize them. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the little Chihuahua saw his family, he started wagging his tail and climbed right into his fur mama’s lap. It was like he was a puppy all over again. He’s also been reunited with his brother Thunder.
Aisha Nieves decided to get a new dog two years after hers went missing in Allentown, Pennsylvania. While looking at the Lehigh County Humane Society’s adoption page, a tan Pitbull Rotweiller mix caught her attention. It looked similar to the dog she’d lost several years before. Her first’s dog’s name was Kovu, who was adopted from the same shelter when he was a seven-week-old puppy and had him until he ran away in May of 2019. She decided to look at the dog named Ash, who looked a lot like her first puppy. She noticed a scar over one eye that he’d gotten when he ran into a fence at her house. According to People, he was in pretty lousy shape when he got to the shelter in May 2019. He needed antibiotics for inflammation on his rear end. After he healed, he was adopted by a family on October 25, 2019. Sadly, the family who adopted him had to return him because they were facing eviction. Nieves couldn’t shake the feeling that this was Kovu. She called the shelter and let them know she was his first owner. When she got to the shelter, Kovu recognized her immediately. He jumped on her and started giving her hugs and kisses. Her dog recognizing her at first smell is not unusual since they have a heightened sense of smell. Kovu will celebrate his seventh birthday this winter with his newly reunited family.
Roger Caras once said, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” People who own dogs understand that their four-leggeds fill a special place in their hearts. Animal people feel that the pets they own enrich their lives. However, it may be possible that our pets feel the same way, and when they find their forever human, they stop searching or find a way to go home if they get lost.