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Lost Beagle Traveled 1,000 Miles Before Coming Home For The Holidays

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on December 7, 2021

Kaylee Donnelly and Matt Hedrick were devastated when their Beagle named Cooter disappeared. They were relaxing at their Arkansas home when all of a sudden, their dog was no longer near them. They called for the pup, but he didn’t come back. For two months, the family looked everywhere and asked everyone, but no one had seen Cooter. They began to fear the worst until they got an unusual call.

As it turns out, Cooter traveled 1,000 miles in those two months. Somehow, he ended up in Florida, likely after the adventure of a lifetime. If only he could tell his humans about it!

Cooter the lost Beagle

Cooter’s Solo Road Trip

Hedrick said that the family was talking outside when Cooter went missing. The pup ran circles around the yard, and suddenly, he vanished. He wasn’t anywhere in their house or yard, so the family feared they’d never see him again.

They hung up fliers and made Facebook posts, but nothing seemed to help. They began to worry that someone had him and wasn’t going to give him back. When he ran away, he had a name tag sewn onto his collar, so anyone who found him would know he’s not a stray.

Beagle under the Christmas tree

“We had no luck finding our baby,” Donnelly said.

But about two months after Cooter went missing, Donnelly received a promising text. The text said that they found Cooter, but he was all the way in Palm Coast, Florida. That was approximately 1,000 miles away! The family was able to FaceTime the person so they could see that their pup was happy and safe with them.

Beagle at the beach

An Unusual Thank You

The distance didn’t stop the family from going to pick up their furry friend. As soon as they could, they made the 15-hour trip to Florida, and they were all emotional at the sight of Cooter.

“The people who have him right now, they said, ‘Oh, could you imagine the stories he could tell you right now?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah I bet that would be crazy. He saw a lot of stuff,'” said Hedrick.

Boy reunited with Beagle

As a thank you, the family did something unusual. They brought a tiny Beagle puppy with them to give to the family. They got her from the same place they got Cooter from, so they called her his little sister. Hopefully, they informed the family of the puppy ahead of time since a puppy shouldn’t be a surprise gift.

Luckily, the family loved the new puppy, and they were happy to see Cooter reunite with his family. Now, he’s home just in time for the holidays, so his return is a Christmas miracle. No one knows for sure how he traveled so far in only two months.

Boy cuddling with sleeping Beagle

Featured Image: Facebook

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