Walter the golden retriever somehow made his way back to his owner, nearly a year after the pup disappeared into the woods in a suburban area of St. Louis.
“Not everybody does have this ending,” his owner Kate Olson told Good Morning America. ”I never in a million years thought that I would be one of them.”
Olson explained that she had brought Walter out on a trip to Arnold, Missouri. Olson is originally from New Hampshire, and made the trip to visit her boyfriend’s parents last Thanksgiving.
Walter had been on a dog with Olson’s boyfriend’s parents when he somehow slipped through his leash and disappeared into the woods. “He just got so scared that he backed out of his collar and he just took off,” she said.
She stayed in Missouri for weeks afterward, printing flyers and searching high and low for the pup.
Olson eventually had to go back to New Hampshire, but never gave up on finding Walter. She took her search virtual, setting up a Facebook page named “Where’s Walter??” and requested that animal rescue groups keep their eye out if they see her dog.
Earlier this month, Olson received good news. There had been sightings of Walter, with a user even posting a photo of him in the group. Then, animal rescue group Lost Paws Trapping was able to lure Walter in to be captured.
When Olson heard her pup was in their care, she immediately booked a flight to get back to Walter. “He is the same sweet boy he was before,” she told the Associated Press.
Olson is now requesting donations to cover any vet expenses and emotional needs that may have arisen in Walter’s year on the lam. To support them, visit their GoFundMe page.