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Park rangers at Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve in California told Kris Anderson that she may as well give up on finding her lost dog, Georgia.
On June 27, Kris had taken Georgia, a Shar Pei mix, and Chico, an 8-year old Chihuahua mix, to the county park for their usual walk. Because they were in a remote area of the park, Kris allowed Georgia to wander off leash. That’s when the 8-year old dog took off over the hills after a rabbit.
After calling for her dog several times with no sight of her, Anderson contacted park rangers for help. When Georgia hadn’t been found after several hours of searching, park rangers gave Anderson little hope that she’d ever be found.
She’d become lost in an area known for predatory coyotes, rattlesnakes, and nearby vehicle traffic. The Andersons, however, didn’t give up. They continued making the 70-mile round-trip drive to Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve day after day to continue searching.
Nine days passed. The reported sightings of a dog running loose had stopped. The 4th of July, along with its frightening-to-dogs fireworks, came and went. Still, the Andersons kept hoping they’d one day see Georgia again.
Then, at about 8:30am on Monday morning, 9 days after she went missing, Kris Anderson was awakened when 30-pound Georgia jumped up onto her bed.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking ‘what?’ ‘How could this be?’ ‘Am I dreaming or is this really happening,’” Anderson explained to the San Diego Union Tribune.
Somehow, Georgia had found her way home through canyons, suburbs, past predators, torrential rains, and through traffic. She’d arrived at her own home 35-miles away, pushed open the gated and made her way through the doggy door right into her amazed owner’s arms.
While experts can’t fully explain the homing instincts in domesticated pets, some attribute it to their outstanding sense of smell.
Could the Anderson’s daily treks to the park where Georgia was lost have left enough of a scent trail for the old dog to find her way back home?
“I loved to let her off leash because it’s her spirit and her light to run, but I’m taking a vow now that I won’t do that anymore,” Anderson said, thankful for her second chance.
Kris took Georgia to a veterinarian who was amazed at how healthy the dog was despite her ordeal. She did come home with some cuts and scrapes, probably due to encounters with predators and the harsh terrain. Though she’s been resting a lot, eating a lot, and is a bit clingy to her human, Georgia is doing exceptionally well.