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Lost Golden Retriever Spends Year Alone In The Woods

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 November 19, 2020

Exactly one year ago, Walter the Golden Retriever got himself in a tricky situation. He and his mom, Kate Olson, had traveled from New Hampshire to Missouri to visit with family. Something must’ve spooked Walter while walking because he squeezed out of his collar and ran off. Olson stayed in Missouri for weeks, posting fliers everywhere. After that, she tried her best to return to Missouri as much as she could, but soon COVID-19 hit, making it near impossible. She knew that her sweet Walter was out there somewhere, and she couldn’t help but wonder what he was up to. As it turns out, the brave pup spent an entire year in the woods by himself.

Walter Golden Retriever
Image: Kate Olson Facebook

Walter Fends for Himself

Olson was determined to never give up on her furry friend. Even across the country, she knew she could find him. So, she started a Facebook page called “Where’s Walter?” to help share information about the pup’s location. The group gained over 1,100 members of fellow dog lovers willing to help.

She also worked closely with Lost Paws Trapping, who was able to set up cameras and traps to help catch Walter. It took almost a year for Olson to get any hopeful news, but when one of the cameras captured Walter nearby, she was ecstatic. The next day, the team set up a trap in that spot, and sure enough, it captured Walter. He was found almost a year after he had gone missing, and he’d traveled about 10 miles.

Lost Paws Trapping with Walter
Image: Lost Paws Trapping Facebook

“13 days shy of being on the run for an entire year; living in the woods, avoiding everyone he met and finally on all days Friday the 13th, Walter has been trapped!” Lost Paws Trapping wrote on Facebook.

Reunited at Last!

Once Walter was captured, Olson hopped on the first flight to Missouri. Right away, Walter recognized her and transformed back into his cheery self. It seemed that he had spent the entire year in the woods on his own. Yet, other than being very dirty, he seemed to be in good shape. Luckily, he only lost a few pounds during his time away.

Walter reunited
Image: Lost Paws Trapping Facebook

“He has been such a little love. He is the same sweet boy he was before and maybe even sweeter because he has missed getting loved on,” said Olson.

Walter has already gotten two baths since he returned, including a free spa day at the local groomer. He also has a vet appointment coming up to ensure that he’s in tiptop shape. After calling the woods home for so long, Walter seems overjoyed to be back with the comfort of a loving family. Olson will make sure he gets extra love and treats after that long journey.

Walter and his mom
Image: Lost Paws Trapping Facebook

Featured Image: Kate Olson Facebook and Lost Paws Trapping Facebook

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