If you’ve ever lost your dog for even a few minutes, you know how excruciating the ordeal is. So we’re always happy to be able to report on heartwarming stories of dogs and their owners being reunited.
One of the most amazing we’ve heard recently is that of Mike Beuerle, his dog, Charley, and an anonymous stranger who spent his own money and time, driving nearly 200 miles roundtrip to help make it happen.
“A Tough Year”
The story begins in East Lansing, Michigan, with heartbreak. It’s been an awfully difficult year or two for all of us, but especially for Mike. His wife, Gail, passed away about six months ago, leaving Charley as his main companion in life.
“Been a tough year. She was ill for a long time,” Mike told WILX-10 in Lansing.
The couple owned two homes, one in East Lansing and one further north in the state. Mike needed to visit the northern home as part of the process of selling it, so he left Charley in the care of some dog sitters who came to pick him up.
They didn’t have him in their care for very long.
Charley Slips Away
The sitters came to pick Charley up but they didn’t even make it out of the neighborhood before the poor guy had an accident in the back of their vehicle.
When they pulled over to clean it up, a spooked Charley shot out of his collar and leash, out of the vehicle, and into the wooded area surrounding the neighborhood. It happened so quickly, the caretakers didn’t have time to react.
“They made a good faith effort to try to catch him, but there was no catching him,” Mike said.
He spent hours and then days searching for Charley putting up posters, and spreading the word by making phone calls, with no luck.
But just as the situation started to seem hopeless, in stepped an anonymous hero.
A Hero Comes Along
The man, who has asked not to be identified, heard about Mike and Charley’s unfortunate separation.
He worked on some property in Mike’s neighborhood and had cameras in several places to monitor it. From the cameras, he knew there were a lot of coyotes in the area, which would have had no trouble hurting Charley if they wanted to.
So he decided to keep an eye out for Charley. And when he reviewed some of the camera footage and saw him roaming around, he knew it was his chance to make a difference and get the pup back to his dad.
Our hero was familiar with trapping animals but didn’t have a trap large enough to accommodate a Cocker Spaniel.
So instead of giving up, he drove nearly 200 miles roundtrip to pick up a trap that could capture Charley safely.
Mike And Charley Are Reunited
It didn’t take long before Charley came wandering by again and got curious about the trap. And he quickly found himself safely inside the cage. Now it was only a matter of getting him back to Mike.
“The guy was brilliant. He brought Charley home, he put a blanket over the cage to keep him calm. And I mean, when I took the blanket off and Charley saw me, he was shaking like a leaf,” Mike went on to tell WILX-10. “For him to go so far out of his way, for no reason, just because he’s a good person.”
We respect the heck out of the man who wanted no credit at all for getting Charley back to Mike. And to whomever he is, a hearty thank you and salute from iHeartDogs.com.
“Had it not been for sites on Facebook like Paw Boost, For Love of Louie, Paws for a Cause, and others, along with the advice we received from people who visit these sites, I am sure we would never have resulted in the return of Charlie. The hot pink posters that we attached to virtually every intersection within a couple of miles, and the handing out flyers with Charley’s picture and contact information going door to door in the same area resulted in his safe return,” Mark told us in an interview.
More Lost And Found Stories
Of course, we’ve seen dogs and their humans reunited after much longer periods of separation and anxiety.
Lola spent 3 years in the woods near Chicago after she hopped out of a fence and wandered into the wild.
Even farther north than Mike in Michigan, in Ontario, Canada, good boy Jack was discovered roaming a neighborhood 4 years after he went missing, with his owner wondering if he was out there the entire time.
And then there’s the story of Charley (a different Charlie), whose reunion came after 10 extraordinarily long years.
Images: Mark Beuerle
Screenshots & H/T: WILX-10 Lansing