Cleo, a yellow Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix apparently decided "I'm not gonna be in Kansas anymore," and hit the road for her family's former home in Missouri.

When Joe Dredge and I compare our dogs (he's got two Huskies, I've got two Weimaraners), he's often quick to point out that his girls are "escape artists." My two get a little freaked out if they make it unaccompanied to the mailbox, while his have been known to take rather lengthy strolls away from home when they've managed an escape from his backyard. My dogs like to make sure the gate is locked.

Cleo, a dog living in Kansas (but formerly a resident of Missouri), probably didn't think that she was running away from home, but rather running to home. 50 miles away. Dogs rarely, if ever, check odometer readings in the car.

A man named Colton Michael shared the story of how one day Cleo showed up on the front porch of his home in Lawson, Missouri, where the Michael family has lived for the past couple of years. As you may have guessed, that's the house where Cleo and her family previously lived.

She was pretty standoffish, but through patience and several bags of treats, Mr. Michael finally won her over. He had her checked for a microchip, and it turns out that she's the dog of the home's former owners.

As for the former owners, they had put up a post on Facebook about their missing dog about a week earlier, and were stunned when contacted by the Michael family. They have no idea how their dog made that trip, especially since she had to cross at least one river to make it to Lawson.

50 miles, including crossing a river, is pretty impressive. However, Cleo would have had to go a lot farther to come close to some of the incredible distances other dogs (and cats) have covered to get home.

For example, there's Howie, the Persian cat. When Howie's owners took an extended vacation from their home in Australia, Howie was taken to a relative's home more than 1,000 miles away. When his owners returned from their trip to pick up Howie, they were told that he had run away. They figured with Howie being an indoor cat, he lacked any sort of survival skills to make it in the wild. They were wrong. 12 months later, skinny and disheveled, Howie showed up on the front steps of the family's home.

Here's the all-time champ, according to the Guinness Book of World Records:

The farthest distance that a lost pet dog has found his way home occurred in 1979 when Jimpa, a labrador/boxer cross, turned up at his old home in Pimpinio, Victoria, Australia after walking 3,218 km (2,000 miles) across Australia. His owner, Warren Dumesney (Australia), had taken the dog with him 14 months earlier when he went to work on a farm at Nyabing, Western Australia. During his trek the dog negotiated the almost waterless Nullarbor Plain.

Here's a few more of those stories. Tissues are recommended:


Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs:

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