Loyal dog walks 20 miles, twice, to get back to owners who gave her up

A dog whose story of heartbreaking loyalty to her former owners went viral on Facebook has found a new and loving home.

Cathleen, a Great Pyrenees mix, twice took 20-mile walks trying to get back to owners who had given her away because they weren’t able to care for her.

The owners, an elderly couple who a few months earlier moved to a new home in Seminole, Oklahoma, concluded they were unable to continue caring for Cathleen, Marta Mattingly, treasurer of the Seminole Humane Society, told HuffPost. In part, the couple cited restrictions on pet ownership in their new home.

They gave Cathleen to a family in Prague, Oklahoma — about 20 miles away — but the dog didn’t want to stay put. At least twice, Cathleen showed up in her old neighborhood after escaping from the home in Prague.

“She just didn’t want to stay there,” said Mattingly. “It’s a straight shot from Prague back to Seminole.”

That Cathleen, who Mattingly described as “very smart” and “as sweet as can be,” was able to find her way back isn’t as surprising as some might think.

“Great Pyrenees are very intelligent,” Mattingly said, adding that they often work as herding dogs and are able to navigate over large areas. “You’ll seem them miles away from home, and they make it back.”

After her escapes, the people in Prague decided that Cathleen may not be a good fit for their home. That’s when the humane society got involved to help find a new, permanent family for the dog.

After posting a notice about Cathleen on its Facebook page Monday, the group was flooded with calls and messages from people all over the U.S. interested in adopting her.

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New breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club
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New breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje dogs Rhett (L) and Escher (C) along with a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno (R), new breeds recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC), stand during a meet-the-breeds event at the AKC offices in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje dog Rhett, a new breed recognized by American Kennel Club, plays with its owner during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje dogs Rhett along with a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno, new breeds recognized by American Kennel Club, stands during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno, a new breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, stands during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A Lykoi breed of cat, a new breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, stands during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A Lykoi breed of cat, a new breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, stands during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno, a new breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, stands during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen breed named Juno, a new breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, stands during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje breed Escher (L) along with a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno (R), new breeds recognized by American Kennel Club, stand during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje dogs Escher (L) and Rhett (C) along with a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno (R), new breeds recognized by American Kennel Club, stand during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje dogs Rhett (L) and Escher (C) along with a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Juno (R), new breeds recognized by American Kennel Club, stand during a meet the breeds event at the American Kennel Club offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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On Friday, the shelter announced that Cathleen had found a new home in Texas, which Mattingly said seems “wonderful.”

While there’s a risk Cathleen may try again to return to Oklahoma, Mattingly said at her new place, she’ll be an inside dog with access to a securely fenced yard. And one of her new owners works from home, so she’ll get plenty of attention during the day.

For anyone who was moved by Cathleen’s story and wanted to adopt her, Mattingly emphasized there are similarly fantastic animals in shelters all over the country.

“There are a lot of animals like Cathleen out there,” she said. “There are just so many out there that need homes.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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