A dog that went missing from Kansas was found over a week later, 50 miles away in Missouri. Four year old Cleo was reported missing from Olanthe, but somehow managed to find her way back to her owners previous home in Missouri. The current owner of the house, Colton Michael, has been living there for almost two years. BBC News reported that he had seen Cleo on his porch for a few days before he was able to approach her. Cleo is a Labrador Retriever and this breed is known as being very friendly. However, she was definitely nervous when she first arrived at the house and this is why she wouldn’t let Colton get near her. After a few days he was able to earn her trust and once she was happy to be held, he took her to the vets where she was scanned for a microchip.
When Colton’s wife heard the name of Cleo’s owner, she realized that they were the people that they had bought their house from. They immediately came to the conclusion that the dog must have traveled back to its old house. They were not sure where the previous owners had moved to, and so they were really shocked to discover that the dog had traveled from Kansas. Luckily, the information on Cleo’s microchip was kept up-to-date after she moved states and this meant that her owners could be contacted immediately.
Another thing that Colton and his family found so surprising was the fact that she has traveled such a long distance in just a week. There would have been a lot of busy roads that she had to navigate, and she would have also needed to find somewhere to rest every night. WTSP reports that she would have needed to cross a river to get from Kansas to Missouri. She would have covered well over five miles every day, and this is if she took the most direct route.
The knowledge that Cleo used to live in Colton’s house also explains why she was so nervous when she first arrived. She would have returned to the home expecting to find somewhere familiar, but instead found strangers living there. It seems clear that she knew exactly where she was headed, but she would have found that things were a lot different from the last time she was there.
Cleo’s owner, Drew, had made a Facebook appeal to try and find her. He was always hopeful that someone would find her, but he did not expect that the call would come from 50 miles away. The family had been living in Kansas for more than two years and Cleo had never shown any indication that she was pining over the home in Missouri. She was still a puppy when the left and they weren’t even sure if there was much she would remember about living in Missouri.
Drew was overjoyed to hear that Cleo had been found. He had owned her since she was a puppy and she meant everything to him and his mother. They were really upset when they realized that she was lost and were doing everything that they could to try and find her. They had made a Facebook appeal and all their family and friends were looking for her in and around the Olanthe area. Nobody would have ever expected that she would have traveled so far away. The reunion was very emotional and Drew found it hard to put into words just how relieved he was to get Cleo back.
It may always be a mystery just how Cleo managed to find her way from Kansas to Missouri. She did not appear to have any injuries and was in good health when she was examined by the vet when they were checking for a microchip. She spent a few days hanging around Colton’s porch and he left her something to eat and drink, but she would only take this when there was nobody else around. When the vet checked her over, she was not showing any signs of being malnourished.
Stories such as Cleo’s being shared on social media means that we seem to hear more these days about dogs that have been lost and then found miles away from home. Many of these stories are about dogs that have returned to areas of the country where they used to live, as in this story. We do know that dog’s senses work a little differently to ours, but there is still so much we don’t know. It could be that these enhanced senses have a role to play in helping dogs work out where they need to go when they have a specific destination in mind.
Wag Walking suggests that there may also be other factors that also influence a dog’s ability to find their way back home. It is believed that they have natural tracking abilities from the days when their ancestors would hunt in packs. They would be able to sense when it was time to return to the pack, and their instincts would help them find their way back. Recent studies have also shown that dogs may have something called ‘magnetoreception’, which means that they are able to use the magnetic fields of the earth to sense which direction they need to travel in. This is something which needs more investigation, but it could help to explain how dogs find their way over long distances when they may not have their sense of smell or visual clues to rely on.
It is not known how Cleo found her way to Missouri but Drew has taken steps to ensure that she does not run away from home again. The whole family will be keeping a much closer eye on her in the future after her recent adventure. However, if she does ever end up back at Colton’s house again, they will know who they need to contact to get her back home safely.