Kris Anderson couldn’t believe it when her missing dog walked through the doggy door and jumped on her bed.
Georgia, an 8-year-old Shar Pei Mix braved coyotes, torrential rain, traffic, and Fourth of July Fireworks to walk 35 miles to her Carlsbad, CA, home.
On June 27, Anderson took Georgia for a hike in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve for the mutt’s eighth birthday, when her off-leash dog bolted after a rabbit and disappeared. Anderson searched for hours with the help of rangers, according to KTLA (video below).
Even though rangers told Anderson that it was unlikely that Georgia would survive the night, since the area was full of coyotes and wild animals, Anderson never gave up hope. She traveled 35 miles each way to the nature preserve to look for Georgia every day, even though there was no sign of her.
Nine days later, Anderson was in for an unexpected surprise. At 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Anderson was asleep when Georgia ran into the house through the doggy door and jumped into bed with her, she told The San Diego Tribune.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Anderson said. “I was thinking, 'What? How could this be? Am I dreaming or is this really happening?’”
Georgia had lost a lot of weight, was exhausted, and had some cuts and scratches, but was still in remarkably good shape.
Veterinarian Luiz Lizarraga, from Surfside Animal Hospital in Oceanside, examined Georgia after the incident, The San Diego Tribune reports.
“I’ve heard of dogs doing things like this but I’ve never seen it before. She’s very lucky, absolutely,” Lizarraga said.
Paul Kucharczyk, the nature preserve's supervising park ranger, helped with the search. He warns that letting dogs off-leash can be hazardous.
“Most people who let their dogs off-leash feel their dog is a good dog, but there are so many reasons to keep them on leash,” Kucharczyk told The San Diego Tribune. “The coyotes are out there doing their job and we have other dog-walkers, horses, ticks and rattlesnakes, especially in the summer.”
Anderson vowed never to let Georgia off-leash again, even though the dog loves running free. She is just thankful the dog is home, she said.
“It’s a story of hope,” Anderson told KTLA.