Dog News

June’s Road Trip: Lost Alabama Dog Travels 1,000+ Miles in 11 Days

by Amy Drew

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On June 15, June, a rambunctious, friendly, 1-year-old mixed breed made a break from her Mobile, AL, yard. Owners Jacob Thomas and Julie Nguyen discovered she was missing upon returning home from work.

“She had actually chewed through the bottom of the wooden fence gate in the yard,” Nguyen told the Wichita Eagle. “We’re thinking she was chasing after a cat, because we saw some paw prints.”

Naturally, Thomas and Nguyen searched high and low for June and they actually got a read on her for awhile.

“I went on social media to see if anyone might have picked her up,” Nguyen said. “A lady had actually posted a picture of (June) soaking wet. She said she was just hanging around at her office, so I messaged her on Facebook.”

Unfortunately, the woman lost sight of June. Nguyen said the dog was then seen at a number of businesses, including a Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant, where she made friends with a bartender.

After a few days, however, the trail went cold. Nguyen, 34, and Thomas, 35, began to give up hope of finding her and then, on June 27, Thomas got a call from the Dodge City Veterinary Clinic which had gotten their information after scanning June’s microchip.

Here’s where the story gets funny:

Thomas thought the vet was located in Dodge City, a small, Alabama town north of Birmingham.

“He’s from north Alabama,” Nguyen said, “and there’s a Dodge City right outside his hometown. He said, ‘How in the world did she get all the way up to north Alabama?’ Then the vet said, ‘No, we’re in Dodge City, Kansas.’ ”

Next up: a 16-hour road trip to get their dog. They still have no idea how she managed to travel more than 1,000 miles.

Justyna Price, a veterinary technician at the Dodge City clinic, said two teenage boys brought June in for a checkup on June 26. They had picked her up on their way back from vacationing in Florida. They figured she was a stray.

But then June’s chip let everyone know that June had owners back in Alabama who were missing her. The boys were disappointed, but understood.

“We kind of explained to the boys that, legally, June already had an owner,” Price said. “She had some scrapes, but she was in good shape. We had her for about a week in all, and she was just a social butterfly, always wanting to visit with the other dogs and have people love on her.”

Nguyen said there are no hard feelings toward the boys.

“They just saw a friendly dog and wanted to keep her,” Nguyen said. “It’s understandable. We’re just happy to have her back.”