Wandering Pooch

Friday, June 3, 2011 - 10:13am

"Buster Brown" shows up in California...two years after running away in Colorado.

A dog lost more than two years ago is headed home after an incredibly long journey.

Animal shelter workers said on Thursday they found a lost dog walking in Salinas, California that had somehow wandered more than 1,300 miles from its home in Colorado.

How the Labrador journeyed from Colorado, to Utah, to Nevada and finally ended up in Salinas is a mystery.

On May 20, a "very nice brown Labrador mix dog" was found in Salinas and brought to the Salinas Animal Shelter, Cindy Burnham of the Salinas Animal Shelter said.

Staff scanned the dog and found he had a microchip.

Excited to get the dog home, staff eagerly called the numbers listed on the microchip, Burnham said, but none of the numbers worked.

Animal shelter staff mailed a certified letter to the microchip's last reported address, which was oddly listed for Colorado.

On May 31, the shelter received an emotional phone call from a woman in Boulder who had just received the certified letter about the dog at the shelter.

Samantha Squires said that in November of 2010, her brown Labrador mix, named Buster Brown, suddenly disappeared from her yard in rural Boulder.

"She was thrilled beyond belief that we had him," Burnham said.

Squires had feared he was stolen or even that a mountain lion had grabbed him.

But she never gave up searching for her dog and hoping he would somehow find his way home.

Squires still has his bed and basket of toys, exactly where the dog left them in November.

“I have no idea how he would have made it to Salinas," Squires said. "I've never even heard of it before.”

Once an overjoyed Squires figured out that the dog at the Salinas shelter was Buster Brown, she and shelter workers still had to figure out how to finally get him home.

"Driving him the 19 hours to Colorado was a bit much, so Samantha contacted Frontier Airlines.

After discussion with them, they offered to donate the flight from San Francisco to Boulder," Burnham said.

After a long journey, Buster Brown will be back at home by Friday, Burnham said.

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