Meet Simba — a senior shepherd mix who loves his parents with all his heart.
Recently, Simba’s parents had to take an unexpected trip due to a family emergency, so they hired a dog sitter to take care of their loyal pup. They kissed Simba goodbye on their way out, but while they were away, they got a message that their dog was nowhere to be found.
Unfortunately, Simba escaped through an open door shortly after his parents left. They immediately went home to look for him but couldn’t find him anywhere. Little did they know, a community 20 miles away had spotted a dog just like Simba sleeping alone on the beach.
The community of Good Samaritans wasn’t exactly sure who Simba was, but they were determined to help him.
“There were several posts about a dog on the beach,” Suzette Hall, founder of Logan’s Legacy dog rescue, told The Dodo. “All the lifeguards were trying to get him, but he kept running further down the shore.”
When Hall got to the beach, she dragged a large trap onto the sand, where she could tell Simba had been sleeping. The pup wasn’t there as she set the trap up, but she hoped the treats she placed inside would lure him back.
“It was pouring rain and pitch black,” Hall said. “So, unfortunately, he got startled and ran.”
Hall waited a little while longer in the rain to no avail. As she waited, she came across a local neighbor who was more of a help than she’d anticipated.
“He said that the dog had slept in his garage the night before, so he told me I could set the trap there,” Hall said.
Hall and the neighbor carried the crate from the beach to the garage, set it again, then waited for the dog to return.
“We waited and waited, but he never came back,” Hall said.
The next morning, someone spotted the dog walking along the beach again. As Hall reset the trap, another neighbor messaged her about the dog having a possible family. Hall contacted the man, and soon she was in touch with Simba’s parents.
When Simba’s dad heard that his pup was on the beach, he immediately got in the car and drove 22 miles. When he got there, he recognized Simba instantly and started calling out for him. But the dog, who was lying in the sand again, refused to come.
Hall figured the dog had forgotten what his dad’s voice sounded like after two weeks, so she decided to try a different approach.
“I asked him, ‘What’s something that he recognizes besides your voice?’ And he was like, ‘Well, he always gets excited when I come home. He’ll hear my engine coming down the street, and he knows it’s me,’” Hall said.
With the new information, Hall suggested that Simba’s dad get back in his truck and start it up again. As soon as he turned his key in the ignition, Simba’s face lit up.
“Simba was looking and looking, then all of a sudden he realized it was his dad,” Hall said. “He went running to that truck, wiggling his tail and jumping up and down.”
Finally, Simba recognized his dad and was elated to be in his arms again after two long weeks away from home. His dad was equally relieved to see his loving dog again.
“Man, they were so happy and appreciative,” Hall said. “Simba’s such a survivor.”
Simba and his dad headed home shortly after, where the pup settled back into his routine with his parents right away. He scarfed down a delicious meal of all his favorite food, then curled up in his favorite spot for a much-needed nap.
Simba’s parents believe he might have been trying to look for them when he initially escaped from the house. Their hearts break every time they think about Simba walking so far in search of his family, but, ultimately, they’re so happy to have him back home.
And Hall was just as excited to witness the loving family reunite again.
“To see him out there alone, then to see that tail and that smile when he recognized his dad — that was amazing,” Hall said. “It was such a miracle.”
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