Little Girl's Lost Dog Turns Up 160 Miles Away From Home

Australian dog with ball in mouth during a training.

Photo: Getty Images

Last month, Mandy Iworrigan from Gambell, Alaska, a tiny village on St. Lawrence Island in the middle of the Bering Strait, went to visit friends in another community on the island when her one-year-old Australian shepherd, Nanuq, went missing. Nanuq, which means polar bear in Siberian Yupik, vanished along with the family's other dog, Starlight.

Starlight was found a few weeks later, but they couldn’t find Nanuq. Then about a month after he went missing, residents of Wales, Alaska, 150 miles away across the Bering Sea, posted pictures online of a lost dog resembling Nanuq. Iworrigan, recognizing her pet, exclaimed, "No freakin' way! That's our dog! What is he doing in Wales?" She speculated that he may have ended up there due to shifting ice while hunting, and that he likely survived on seals and birds.

Iworrigan used airline points to transport Nanuq back to Gambell on a regional air carrier. The emotional reunion was captured on video, with Iworrigan posting on social media, "Sounds like a Disney Movie- but it's REAL!" Despite a swollen leg and bite marks from an unidentified animal, Nanuq was in relatively good health. Iworrigan later posted a pic of Nanuq and thanked a local animal shelter for providing medicine for the dog.

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