Lost Pet Dog Finds Way Home After Walking 40 Miles in 26 Days

A pet dog accidentally forgotten at a highway rest stop by its owners unexpectedly found its way home after 26 days and a near-40-mile journey.

The seven-year-old mongrel, named Doudou, had not been seen since September 26, when it was left behind by its owner, Qiu, and his family. The pooch shocked them all when it returned dirty and skinny last week.

Qiu, from Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province, brought Doudou along during a family trip to the city of Jiande about 80 miles away.

China pet dog
The Qiu family pet Doudou. Qianjiang Evening News

In an interview with Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News, Qiu said his family, which included his wife and in-laws, was busy caring for their young daughter and did not pay much attention to their pet on the day.

Passing through Tonglu Service Area on their way home, the family failed to notice that Doudou had got out of the car, Qiu said. They only realized the dog was missing when they reached Hangzhou.

Qiu told the newspaper: "We immediately wanted to drive back to the rest stop to look for Doudou."

The following day, the whole family drove back to Tonglu Service Area but could not find their pet despite searching for two hours. Qiu and his wife tried again a few days later, but there was still no sign of the animal.

"We held out hope that it maybe hadn't gone far, and that it was most likely still wandering around the rest stop," the owner said.

However, after China's public holidays in the beginning of this month, he and his family gradually began to accept the fact that Doudou would never return.

"I just hoped that it would stay alive and maybe meet someone kind who will take it in," Qiu told the paper.

China pet dog
China pet dog
The Qiu family pet Doudou unexpectedly turned up on their doorstep on October 22, 2020, after having been forgotten at a rest stop 26 days earlier.

But on October 22, a full 26 days later, a "stray dog" turned up on the family's doorstep, shocking Qiu's relatives.

Qiu said he did not believe it until he came home from work and saw the dog with his own eyes.

He added: "Doudou was dirty, scruffy and emaciated, but still wagging its tail. He's very lucky he wasn't harmed."

Despite being driven to the rest stop in Qiu's car, and presumably leaving no scent trails to follow, the pooch was somehow able to walk nearly 40 miles home.

Qiu, who described Doudou as a "timid" and "weak" puppy, said: "I used to think Doudou was kind of dumb, but now I really admire what it's done."

Qiu said Doudou has since recovered its energy after arriving home weak and thin.

On Monday, a Texas family was reunited with their beloved Chihuahua after it had gone missing from their backyard six years ago.