This dog disappeared two years ago, but you won’t believe what just happened

If you need an example of why you should never give up hope, look no further than the story of Murphy.

In October 2012 , a golden retriever named Murphy separated from owners Erin and Nathan Braun during a camping trip in California’s Tahoe National Forest. The Brauns posted fliers, set up a Facebook page,  and went back weekend after weekend to search for her, all with the hope that they would one day see their dog again. 

via Daily Mail
Photo from Facebook via Daily Mail

Murphy survived for twenty months on her own in the woods until she was spotted by campers at the French Meadows Reservoir, five miles from where she originally disappeared. The campers alerted the Braun family, who spent days in the woods searching for Murphy. When they couldn’t find her, they left behind her bed as well as some of their clothes, hoping the scent would draw the dog back to the area. It worked. 

A week later, the campground host found Murphy sleeping on the clothes that the Braun family had left in the woods and managed to get her to go into a kennel. She was reunited with her family on Father’s Day.

“We are completely shocked and amazed with the miracle of her surviving this long,” Erin Braun wrote on Facebook.

Erin Braun family recounted the story in a Facebook post:

Our dearest Family and Friends,

After 20 long months of being in the Tahoe National Forest, Murphy has come home. As you can imagine we are completely shocked and amazed with the miracle of her surviving this long. We responded to a call from a couple who spotted a dog matching her description in an area within 5 miles of where we lost her. After multiple days looking for her without success, we left her bed and our clothing behind with the campground host, in the hopes that she would respond. A week went by and we got a call from the campground host who was able to coax her into a kennel after she had been sleeping every night on the blanket and clothing that was left behind. We were reunited with Murphy, on Sunday afternoon – Father’s Day! She is on the road to recovery, very thin and frail but happy to be home with her family. We have so many people to thank the list is endless. Words can not describe how grateful we are. Homeward Bound was instrumental in their efforts to help, the campground host – Jason, Jacob (guy that made the call), Missy, Lea, Deann, Teresa, Mike, Mike, Mary, Jason, Lauren, Larry, Bubba, Wawa, Bob and Kim — You all know who you are  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are forever grateful. — Nathan and Erin

via Facebook


Pretty incredible, right?

  • Anonymous

    Very cool. We were distraught when we lost our Danny for 6.5 days … almost hard to imagine getting Murphy back after almost 2 years.

  • Kevin

    Cool story.

  • Asillem4


  • Li Tyler

    Wow! I’m glad they found her. My dog is chipped, so if she ever gets lost, I pray someone will run her to the vet to be scanned. Vets do that for free. When I found a lost dog, I took him in to be scanned, he had no chip and no tags saying who his owner was. I called the local pound to see if anyone called looking for a dog with a description of him, the vet had indeed had a call and it turned out to be their dog. When the owner picked the dog up, the dog responded with so much delight at seeing the owner, I felt secure that they had a great relationship.

    • livefreeordiehard

      If you chip your dog, you might, in the next visit or two, have the vet check for it. I got my Chihuahua chipped and two days later noticed this strange little clump of matted hair on the side of his neck. His chip had come out!! If it had not stuck to his hair, I would have thought it was in there and he was chipped properly!

      • smokehill

        Chips are great, but they have some shortcomings.

        Chips are known to “migrate” around the dog’s body, so the vet or ACO need to run that electronic wand all over the body, just in case.

        Also, different wands vary a lot in what brand of chips they can read. Unless you vet bought the right brand, he might NOT pick up the brand of chip implanted in one particular dog.

  • Arcangelo ‘Cisco’ Cocco

    What a great story!

  • Anonymous

    I hope they give Murphy high quality food – I’ve heard “raw” meat is the best thing. I also met someone who had a police dog and they swore by a dry dog food called “Black Gold.” I still think real food is best but at least go for dog food with the highest protein you can find.

    • MidnightBlue

      Raw meat contains parasites that affect the canine digestive tract in the exact same way they affect humans. Ascaris, fluke, hook, and tape worms are often found in wild animals for this reason, and while they may not always kill, they can shorten the lifespan significantly by causing a slew of digestive issues that cannot be eradicated without treatment.

      Most veterinarians will caution against such a diet.

      • MidnightBlue

        The argument for a raw meat diet is that wild dogs and animals can live on it. That’s true. But if you hunt, you know that such animals are often riddled with parasites, which is why it is so important to clean and cook game properly. A big difference between a food that sustains life and a food that sustains a healthy life. The same parasites that would cause us to cook meat thoroughly don’t stop existing just because a dog is eating it.

    • ckozzy

      If you do give your dog raw meat make sure it is an outside dog, there will be an unwanted gas issue.
      I had a dog that got cancer for a second time the first time the vets removed it and the dog lived for three more years and the cancer returned. The vet gave the dog only a week to live. With a raw diet (meat and vegetables no grain) she improved in health and lived for six more months.

  • Malachi Elijah

    Please be a more responsible next time or don’t have pets.

    • Drew Taylor

      Seriously? Mistakes happen. Most pet owners would give up looking after a few days and just ‘hope for the best’. These people came back multiple times and never gave up on their dog.

    • MidnightBlue

      Years ago, my neighbor lost their dog after a burglar busted their gate open. Mine was lost for 5 days after our pool guy came back to pick up forgotten equipment unbeknownst to us, and didn’t secure the gate well enough when leaving. Tie out cables can break, and kennel locks can fail.

      1/3 dogs go missing at some point in their life. Often, it has little to do with the family. A storm, fireworks, or noise could scare the animal and cause erratic behavior and extreme adrenaline-fueled escape attempts that surpass the animals normal capability. Unseen hole-digging, erosion, visiting landscaper, exterminator, housekeeper, guests, or children could accidentally let them out. They could get spooked during a walk and tear a leash out of hand. The point is, you don’t know the cause, so your judgment is ignorant and premature.

      These people were obviously heartbroken, and you don’t have the background knowledge to assess their responsibility as pet owners.

  • Defend The Constitution

    Those collectivist demands that cloak the anti-social passion of envy behind a label of “social justice” have become a threat to liberty.

  • Kathleen Philbin

    This is a beautiful story.

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