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Dogged determination: Golden retriever walks 64km for 27 days for one last look at old home


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This news will move many dog lovers to tears, and put many "topo king" to shame. No joke but during my NS days, my platoon mate actually get lost during topo at Gembas area (if my memory don't fail me), despite putting markers on some of the trees and plants along the way.


Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/dogged-determination-golden-retriever-walks-64km-for-27-days-for-one-last-look-at-old-home


A golden retriever walked over 64km for 27 days – through forests, fields and county roads – just to see once more the small village in Northern Ireland where his life began.

Cooper, the dog, bolted out of the car of his new owner, who had just picked him up from a kennel in Dungannon, in County Tyrone, on April 1.

He then set off on a long journey back to Tobermore in County Londonderry, 64km away, more than the entire length of Singapore from east to west.

It was a miracle that he did not wander aimlessly across Northern Ireland, but was instead guided by his cold, dark, damp nose to somewhere that felt familiar and where he was eventually rescued on April 27.

Mr Nigel Fleming, a photographer, adopted Cooper from a dog pound in Dungannon so his own golden retriever, Molly, would have a companion.

“I was just about to get the dogs out of the car on their leads for their first walk together when Cooper bolted. He literally jumped over Molly, prised the car door open enough to get past me and ran for it,” he recalled.

“It was a disaster,” he said. “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.”


Cooper probably moved mostly at night to evade organised searches, and scavenged for food and water to survive, according to a search-and-rescue team at Facebook group Lost Paws NI.

He avoided traffic and human contact, and darted into secret safety holes to bed down.

He was even able to sneak past sheep farmers watching over newborn lambs at the height of their busiest season, as he flanked farmlands around County Tyrone.

There were sightings of Cooper in the towns of Magherafelt and Cookstown.

Ms Laurent Hughes, from Magherafelt, said in a Facebook post she saw Cooper running on a road.

“Tried to stop it twice, but it was very scared and kept running. By the time we got turned around again, it had disappeared. We continued to search for a further 20 minutes, but couldn’t find it,” she said.

Lost Paws NI also received a tip that Cooper had been spotted in Lisnanane Lane in Cookstown making his way through fields.

Finally, on April 27, someone called the pet rescue group’s hotline to report that he had spotted Cooper running towards his old neighbourhood.

Lost Paws NI then received a photo that showed Cooper dishevelled but still alive, and quickly came to pick him up.

A spokesman for the group said: “Cooper is a clever boy. Instinct took him back to a place he was familiar with. How he did it, I’ll never know, but he managed it. No food, no shelter, no help, just dogged determination and that incredible nose.”


“It seems incredible that he was able to do this,” she said, “but dogs are incredible.”

Cooper was eventually reunited with Mr Fleming, and the golden retriever with the golden nose has since decided to stay put.

“I’m sitting here looking at him and I cannot believe he’s home,” said Mr Fleming.

“In the end, all we had to do was follow a dog’s nose home to familiar surroundings,” he said.

“If only we’d known, we could have saved big Cooper all that anxiety.”

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Shame on me...recently walked from T3 to T2 then T1 then Jewel then back to T3 to get the car...i kpkb to my children laobu that my kakis needed robotic support after the local tourist excursion...😅

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Left her at the rest stop on the NSH and I kenna blasted already.

Must leave her in the middle of the jungle next time.


On 5/2/2023 at 12:09 PM, BanCoe said:

@Jamesc ...... got ideas .... the usual :grin:...... but SHE  will be back image.png.3abb89ef0799a81826ad6eb921046cb6.png


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Catch up with a ex-neighbor over the weekend and the chat soon led to life in the old days. In the early 80s, when our government is vacating the old Bulim estate, this neighbor tried a few times to send his kampung dogs away by dropping the dogs at different location in the west, but each time the dogs will make their way back.

There was once he drove the dogs all the way to Tuas end, which is more than 10 km away from Bulim, and 2 manage to make their way back within 2 days, really amazing!

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Thats why dog can be mata or mata must be part dog. 🤣

Edited by Datsun366
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