Just how the dog, a black Lab and pit bull mix named Ivy, managed that is still a bit of a mystery.
Ivy and another dog escaped from a backyard on Feb. 12, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Posts on local Facebook groups drove many searchers to look for Ivy. But it took 23 days before she was caught more than 100 miles away in Omaha, Nebraska, on March 6, according to the report.
The trip that would take 90 minutes by car apparently took the dog several weeks.
Ivy was in bad condition when she finally approached an Omaha homeowner seeking food, according to the Nebraska Humane Society. The group said she weighed just 29 pounds, down from 40-45. She had gotten so thin that one of her front legs slipped through her collar, causing a rub wound that became infected.
“She probably didn’t have much time, so I’m glad we found her when we did,” Kelli Brown, director of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society, told the World-Herald.
Well-meaning searchers may have actually made it harder to catch Ivy, the World-Herald reported. Cathy Eaton, the founder of Lost Pets of Omaha Area, told the newspaper that people descending on an area where Ivy had been spotted may have frightened the dog.
Most of the time, frightened dogs like that are caught in a safe trap, rather than by hand, according to the report.
“Every day that a dog is out, it gets more scared,” Eaton told the newspaper. “Each time another person calls out to it, it freaks her out a little bit more … When a dog is lost, everything is strange to it.”
The second dog who escaped with Ivy, a Bernese mountain dog named Calypso, still has not been found.
Fortunately, it worked out for Ivy. The homeowner she approached worked with an animal control officer to lure her into a garage.
She’s been reunited with her owner, who the newspaper identified just as Hope, and is being monitored by a veterinarian while she recovers.
“With me, she’s a big cuddle bug,” Hope told the World-Herald. “She loves to cuddle, she’s really sweet, playful.”