Hunter’s Story: “Home Is Where the Heart Is”

Hunter, a seven-year-old lab, went missing from his owner’s yard in Appleton the day before Thanksgiving. He was let out for a routine potty break and disappeared. A loyal, loving, and affectionate dog, Hunter had never wandered from his yard before; his owner was certain foul play was involved.

Worried about the lab he regards more as “a son” than “a dog,” Hunter’s owner took immediate action. He reached out to Lost Dogs of Wisconsin for tips and suggestions on how to bring Hunter home safely. Upon suggestion, Hunter’s owner placed one of his shirts, a dish of food, and Hunter’s kennel outside in case Hunter returned home. Rather than sending Hunter’s owner on a fruitless search around the neighborhood, Lost Dogs encouraged Hunter’s owner to have as many people as he could spread the word on Facebook, which he did immediately. Lost Dogs was also able to provide Hunter’s owner with flyers to hand out and posters to hang with the hope of generating sightings that would lead Hunter’s owner to his recovery.

In the end, it was Hunter himself who saved the day. He returned home Thanksgiving morning (early enough to catch up on his sleep before the football games and Thanksgiving dinner started!) Hunter’s owner looked out the window and noticed the food was gone from the dish he had placed outside. Thinking rabbits had gotten to the food, he went to refill the dish. He looked inside Hunter’s kennel and found Hunter sound asleep, patiently waiting for him to let him back inside.

After seven years of never straying, what made Hunter wander? Was he on the hunt for his family’s turkey dinner? Was he sick of peeing in the same old spot? We’ll never know for sure. What we do know is that his owner was prepared for his return, taking the right steps to make sure Hunter found his way home safely.

Welcome Home, Hunter!

By Jami Radant, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin volunteer

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