– In an amazing tale of canine endurance and survival, as well as perseverance by two very dedicated owners, Murphy the Golden Retriever has been reunited with his family after being lost in a large American forest for over 20 months.
With Mountain Lions and Black Bears to avoid, as well as the need to find food and shelter, Murphy triumphed against all odds, being found remarkably well and healthy – as the picture with this Post shows.
Almost two years ago today, Murphy was hiking with his owners, Nathan and Erin Braun, in Tahoe National Forest, California. A nearby gunshot startled Murphy, who ran off and didn’t return.
As any loving family would do, Nathan & Erin searched the forest as much as they could, but to no avail. They put up posters in the area, created a Facebook Page dedicated to finding Murphy, contacted local shelters & rescue organisations and so on – all without success.
Then, several weeks ago Nathan happened across a tactic we have used successfully ourselves to find a lost dog, and decided to try it. A pups4sale team member lost his Bull Terrier a number of years ago on a 1 million acre property in far Western Queensland. After searching all that day with no success, the team member went back to the spot the dog was last seen, took off his shirt and hat and left it at that location. Coming back the next morning to continue the search, lo and behold, there was “Bill” the Bull Terrier, sitting none the worse for wear on the owner’s shirt.
The dual canine instincts harnessed by this tactic involve the dog’s:
1: Homing instinct. That instinct drives the dog to return to the last place they were with their master.
2: Scent lock instinct. When the dog locks on to the scent of their master, they instinctively go to the highest concentration of that scent – in this case an item of clothing.
The Daily Dog is happy to report that what worked for Bill also worked for Murphy! After being tipped off that a dog similar to Murphy had recently been seen in the park, Nathan & Erin returned to the park, together with Murphy’s old blanket and Nathan’s cap. They left the items with the camp host, who put them on the ground near his campsite. That very night Murphy was found curled up on his blanket, with his head on Nathan’s cap! What an amazing tale and a testament to how well the tactic described above works when trying to locate a lost dog.
Mind you, we can only surmise that Nathan & Erin wished they knew of this tactic when Murphy was first lost; it would have saved them (and Murphy) many months of distress and worry – all with the aid of a simple piece of clothing.
At pups4sale we have heard many accounts of how dogs have been located in the manner described in this story. However we have never heard of a case where a dog, lost for 20 months in such harsh terrain, is located safe and well. If any of our readers have heard of similar tales, feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below!
As a final point, if you do use the same tactic described in this Post to find a lost dog in future, make sure the item/s of clothing you use have your fresh scent on them and have not been washed prior to placing on the ground. The more of your scent they have on them, the better, with some owners even urinating on the clothing in order for the scent marker to be as strong as possible! Whether you go to this extreme or not, anyone who has lost a four-legged family member in the past knows how dog owners will do just about anything in order to be reunited with their lost best friend!