Newly-adopted golden retriever walked 64.3km across Ireland back to former home

Publish Date
Tuesday, 2 May 2023, 9:55AM

Cooper had just arrived at his new home in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland when he ran off and travelled for 27 days back to Londonderry.

Cooper was surrendered to a dog pound, but after being rehomed to his new owner Nigel, he made a daring escape just moments after meeting his new doggie sister Molly.

He evaded organised searches, traffic, and human contact as he walked an estimated 64 kilometres.

How Cooper made his journey from Co Tyrone to Londonderry

He is now finally back with his new owner, Nigel Fleming, who said he “couldn’t believe” Cooper was now home after he “vanished in an instant” at the start of April.

The charity Lost Paws Northern Ireland, which helped Nigel track the adventurous pup down, said that the dog’s instinct guided him through the long journey through woods and main roads – and evading wary sheep farmers – without any help from humans.

Speaking after Cooper’s dramatic journey, Nigel told Belfast Live: “I’m sitting here looking at him and I cannot believe he’s home. It was a disaster. The poor boy had no idea where he was and he was in the wind. I tried to chase after him but he was gone in an instant so then the search was on.

“We had literally driven from the dog pound to my home when he bolted.”

He added that he is delighted that Cooper is now safe and is eating small meals to build up strength and put weight back on after losing a lot on his long journey.

“Even when he was missing my faith in humanity was restored thanks to the incredible help I was offered, and today with him here by my side and with Molly, I don’t really have the words to explain the gratitude I feel.

“I’m a very happy and relieved man.”

 What a clever dog!

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