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Dog Goes Missing In Tahoe Wilderness, Emerges Relatively Unscathed Two Years Later


Murphy Braun, before disappearing in 2012.

Dog Goes Missing In Tahoe Wilderness, Emerges Relatively Unscathed Two Years Later: SFist

Today in life imitating Disney movies: a Golden Retriever named Murphy has been reunited with her owners after wandering away from their camp site in the Tahoe National Forest nearly two years ago.

Owners Nathan and Erin Braun told Sacramento's KXTV they never gave up searching for Murphy after she disappeared in October of 2012. After posting flyers and searching the woods, the couple has been maintaining a lost dog Murphy Braun facebook page ever since.

Earlier this month, the couple received a call from someone who had spotted a lost dog at French Meadows Reservoir — a campground five miles away from where they lost Murphy. After a couple days searching the woods, the Braun's left Murphy's old bed (which they had kept for two years?) and some of their clothes outside with the campground host. The first night it was out, Murphy apparently curled up on the bed:

"There was Murphy, sleeping on the blanket," Jason Smith told KXTV. "And right there I knew, that's Murphy. That's their dog. It was curled up with its head on the hat."

The Brauns are 99% sure the dog is the one they lost, because there are some "subtle" physical differences that they didn't remember about her, but that could probably be chalked up to the fact that Murphy just survived two winters in Tahoe. According to ABC, the couple are still awaiting DNA results, but Murphy is looking pretty happy.

From the family:

"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

— with Nathan Braun."

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I remember when this dog went missing, everyone around town spread the word, and were looking for her ;)

Another article with video

http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/eldorado-hills/2014/06/17/golden-retriever-found-in-tahoe-wilderness/10718095/

She was found 10.3 miles away in another campground.

Do dogs have survival instincts and sense of direction or was this dog lucky?

This dog is amazingly lucky, she had to survive deep snow (well maybe not too deep this last year), coyotes (they eat dogs of all sizes, even pit-bulls in town, lady just came over with a flyer for her missing pit 2 weeks ago), and Murphy had to find food; which I guess if she got good had chipmunk, and squirrel hunting, she'd get by.  They did report she was very skinny.

El Dorado Hills family confirms identity of 'miracle' dog found in Tahoe forest

El Dorado Hills family confirms identity of 'miracle' dog found in Tahoe forest | News | El Dorado Hills / Cameron Park / Placerville News

The family whose golden retriever disappeared in the Tahoe National Forest 20 months ago says it has proof the dog recovered in a Sierra campground over the weekend is theirs.

"It's just an unbelievable story and we're still in shock," said Erin Braun, who said she never doubted the dog they brought home on Father's Day was Murphy, who disappeared on a camping trip at Hell Hole Reservoir in October 2012.

But Braun's husband, Nathan, was less certain because of subtle physical differences. He was hoping a DNA test would confirm the identity.

After the family determined a DNA test was not possible because of an insufficient sample, they were reminded by a veterinarian in Truckee of a distinctive scar Murphy carried on her right elbow as the result of a deep gash that was sutured about three years ago.

Erin trimmed the fur on the dog's elbow and saw the L-shaped scar. "It's very, very faint, but you can see it," she said.

Erin said she was certain from the beginning the dog that wandered into a campground on French Meadows Lake, about 11 miles from Hell Hole, was Murphy.

She said the dog showed an immediate familiarity with the Brauns after shying away from other people at the campground.

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