A woman thought she wouldn’t get to see her beloved dog again after she went missing at a nature preserve in San Diego. The park ranger told her the canine was unlikely to survive in the coyote-filled region. However, just when she had given up hope on finding her dog, something surprising happened.
On June 27, 2015, Kris Anderson took her Shar Pei mix, “Georgia,” and Chihuahua mix, “Chico,” on a hike at the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego. That fateful day was also Georgia’s 8th birthday.
This was not the first time Anderson and Georgia had been at the county park. However, this time round, they explored a different trail. “We were in a more active area this time around,” Anderson told ABC News.
During Anderson’s previous hikes, she would allow Georgia off-leash as the dog loves the wild. In the past, the dog would return after running away. Hence, on that day, it was no surprise Georgia got out of Anderson’s sight again, while chasing a rabbit.
“I heard her go after a rabbit and I heard the bark and thought, oh she will come back,” Anderson told CBS 8.
But, Georgia never returned.
Anderson whistled for her, called her name, yet, Georgia was nowhere to be seen. Then, the panicked owner contacted the park ranger, and began searching for the dog for hours.
The Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is a region well known for coyotes. The ranger warned Anderson, “You know, I’m really sorry to say this, but dogs don’t make it through the night [at the Preserve]. It’s too brutal,” NBC San Diego reported.
Despite the grim forecast, Anderson and her daughter, Sarah Lucas, refused to give up hope. They went back to the preserve for eight days searching for Georgia.
“And in the end, I just thought, ‘A week and a couple days—no one can make it out there,’” she said.
At 8:30 a.m. on day 9, just when Anderson had lost all hope of finding Georgia, she woke up to the sound of the doggy door flipping. Moments later, Georgia walked in and hopped onto her bed.
“[I said] ‘Georgia! Georgia!’” she recalled. She thought she was dreaming.
Apparently, Georgia had made her way home after trekking 35 miles for nine days.
Amazingly, other than weight loss, dehydration, and scratches, the vet found her to be in good shape. “She’s very lucky, absolutely,” Luis Lizarraga, veterinarian of Surfside Animal Hospital in Oceanside, told San Diego Union-Tribune.
In Anderson’s opinion, this is a story of hope. “I never thought I would see her again. She is really special to me. I think it’s important for people not to give up,” she said.
And she says she’ll never let Georgia off-leash again.