A dog often becomes a beloved member of a family. If the dog goes missing, then most families find it a devastating situation. Until their dog is found, they may live in a state of uncertainty and anguish. Although there are some dogs that never return home, there are also stories with a happy ending where the dog and their family are reunited. On some occasions, dogs have traveled over a surprisingly long distance to return home to their family, including a dog in China that walked 62 miles to reunite with its family.
How Ping An Ended Up 62 Miles from Home
Ping An, which translates from Chinese to mean ‘safe and sound,’ is a one-year-old Golden Retriever who lives with her family in the eastern Chinese city of Qidong. The New York Post reported that the dog’s family were having their home remodeled, so they asked friends to care for their dog while the work was underway. In June of this year, they took the dog to their friend’s place in Nantong, which is approximately 62 miles from their home. Ping An’s owners were happy that they had someone who could care for their dog so that she was not in danger or upset during the ongoing construction. Initially, the plan was to have the dog stay with their friends for just a few weeks. However, this turned into months as the work took longer to complete than expected.
Four months later, the family was devastated to learn that the dog had gone missing from her temporary home, and the people who had been looking after her had no idea where the dog had gone. Both Ping An’s owners and the people who had cared for her began to search. Unfortunately, their efforts were to no avail, and there was no sign of the dog. Her family felt desperate, and they did not know what to do to get their beloved dog home.
Ping An’s Rescue
A few weeks later, in October 2020, office workers spotted Ping An limping outside their office building. They were concerned about the dog, so they did what they could to help her out. Ping An’s rescuers were concerned that the dog may not have eaten as she looked emaciated, so they fed her dog food and meat buns. They also took care of her injuries, which were predominantly to her feet. Once they had treated Ping An’s bleeding feet, they set about trying to locate the dog’s owners so they could reunite the dog with her family. They decided that social media was probably the best way to find them, as this was the quickest and most effective way of sharing information. The hope was that the owners would see the posts or that someone who knew them would get in touch.
They took photographs of Ping An lying on the pavement looking skinny and tires. The rescuers also photographed her bleeding toes. These photographs were then uploaded onto WeChat, which is a popular Chinese messenger app. One of the rescuers told the Daily Mail that the dog looked very depressed when they found her. He believes that she was missing her owners.
Reunited at Last
Thankfully, the social media posts were successful, as it was these that helped to locate Ping An’s parents. Her owners saw the photographs on WeChat and recognized their dog immediately, despite her skinny appearance. When it was revealed how close Ping An’s home was to the office building where she was found, it became apparent that Ping An had been attempting to make her way home. Although her temporary home was great and she was well looked after, Ping An was clearly missing her family. Despite her family having only the best intentions when they left her with friends, all Ping An knew was that she did not have her favorite people around her anymore.
Therefore, she had decided to do something about it and tried to make her own way home. Ping An showed ‘dogged’ determination to achieve her goal, as she spent two weeks making her way steadily home. In total, the dog walked 62 miles in her attempt to return to her family. It is hard to imagine the effort and physical exertion that Ping An must have put herself to cover this distance in a fortnight. Similarly, it is amazing that the dog was able to navigate her way home with no help. It just shows that dogs have an amazing sense of direction.
As soon as Ping An’s parents saw the social media post, they got in touch with the rescuers and went straight to the office building to collect her. The moment when Ping An and her parents were reunited was captured on video. Her owners made their own post on Chinese social media, showing their joy and the dog’s delight at the moment of their reunion. In the post, they told Ping An that she had worked hard to get home and that she should stay home from now on. They also said that they would never send the dog away and that they intend to always keep their dog by their side.
After taking Ping An back to their home, her owners took the Golden Retriever to the vet for a check-up. Although she had lost a lot of weight and had sore feet, the vet declared her otherwise well. Her parents were delighted that Ping An had suffered no serious on long-lasting effects from her long journey home. The Jianghai Evening News reported that although the dog was weak and tired with sore paws, she is now on the road to recovery. She still has some weight to gain after her ordeal to get home, but she is gradually gaining strength and looking a lot better. There is no reason why Ping An should not make a full recovery.