When Kate Olson and her boyfriend, Curtis Chastain, from New Hampshire, went on a trip to Missouri to visit family, they could never have imagined that they would be living one of the worst nightmares of every dog owner.
The couple brought their pup, Walter, a Golden Retriever, with them. One day, while one of the family members was taking Walter for a walk, he slipped out of his collar and ran away.
His family was desperate and they started looking for him.
Searching For Walter
Many people volunteered and joined them in their search. After staying for two extra weeks in Arnold, Missouri, they had to return home because of work. It was one of the hardest things they had ever done.
Olson created a Facebook group “Where’s Walter??” so that people could report if there were any sightings of him.
Rescuers Gay Arnold and Maryanne Martin, from Lost Paws Trapping, a non-profit organization from Illinois, reached out to the couple and offered to help them. They help pets reunite with their families. Arnold and Martin began looking for Walter, trying to find some tracks.
At first, there were some possible sightings of Walter. But, after a while, it seemed as if he had vanished. Nobody saw the pup.
Olson was worried about him because he was always a ‘scaredy dog’. Both Olson and Walter had anxiety and supported each other. Whenever her furbaby got scared, he would always run to her because that was where he felt safe.
Never Losing Hope Of Reuniting With Their Boy
There were some sightings of dogs in January, and then in March of 2020. Hoping that it was Walter, Olson traveled to Missouri, but both times, she returned home disappointed because it wasn’t her Walter.
Despite not having any news of their boy for months, Olson and Chastain never lost hope of finding him.
“I never gave up that hope. I couldn’t give up. It does eat you up, and you want to give up so you can rest, but I never would have been able to rest peacefully,” Olson said.
Olson was extremely attached to her adorable dog. She adopted him when he was just a puppy.
In November 2020, almost a year after he went missing, the most amazing thing happened.
Olson received two screenshots of a dog on Facebook Messenger. The pictures were blurry and it was hard to tell if the dog was Walter. However, Olson didn’t let herself get excited because she had been disappointed before.
“…I sent my rescue volunteers to work, scoping out the area and talking to businesses in the area the dog was seen. And as it turns out, a man who owns a business right around there said he had seen that dog on his security cameras the past 6 weeks when he had the cameras installed” Kate wrote on her Facebook.
The rescuers from Lost Paws Trapping immediately set up a feeding station and a camera near the industrial park where the dog was last seen. Olson flew to Missouri and joined them.
The dog didn’t show up the first night. The next night, he entered the crate, took the bowl of food, and ran away. After Olson saw the pup stealing the food and running away, she knew that it was her boy.
The Long Awaited Reunion
That same night, the pooch went into the trap. Olson ran towards the trap and started talking to him. After so many months, she finally had her furbaby in front of her. As soon as Walter recognized his mom, he started whimpering.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Olson sat next to her beloved pooch and cuddled him through the crate. Feeling relieved to have his mom by his side, Walter gave her his paw… something that he always used to do.
As soon as the rescuers opened the crate, the affectionate dog threw himself in his mom’s arms and licked her face. Olson was in shock to hug her boy after all those months they had spent apart. They missed each other very much.
“He just snapped out of survival mode, and covered in fleas, smelling horrible, was going in between her legs, jumping up and giving her kisses. It was really special,” said Martin.
After finally being reunited with his mom, Walter was happy. That night, Walter fell asleep in her arms… his safest place in the whole world.
Olson chose to travel by car to New Hampshire because she wanted her pup to feel as relaxed as possible.
Chastain joined them in Cleveland, Ohio. Walter was ecstatic to reunite with his dad. As soon as he saw him, he jumped out of the car and ran to his dad’s outstretched arms. He almost tackled him. Overjoyed to be reunited at last, Chastain and Walter kept hugging each other.
Both Olson and Chastain were over the moon to have their furbaby back. It was like a dream come true.
Walter lives his best life with his family. He loves cuddling with his parents and letting them know how much he loves them.