Dog reunited with owner after being lost in the woods for a year

The runaway retriever was caught on Friday the 13th

This good boy knows that there’s no place like home.

A dog from New Hampshire has had a “Lassie”-like end to a real-life fairy tail, reuniting with its owner after being lost in the woods of Missouri for nearly a year.

Walter the golden retriever and owner Kate Olson. Last Thanksgiving, the dog ran away in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold.

Walter the golden retriever and owner Kate Olson. Last Thanksgiving, the dog ran away in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold. (Gay Arnold/Lost Paws Trapping)

Last Thanksgiving, Kate Olson was visiting family in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold when her golden retriever Walter slipped out of his collar and bolted, KDSK reports. Though Olson stayed in the area for weeks, posting fliers and retracing steps, the "anxious" pup was nowhere to be found.

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The heartbroken pet parent flew back to St. Louis in January to keep searching, and created a "Where's Walter?" Facebook page to raise awareness and enlisted the help of animal rescue groups, to no avail.

After months of silence, the New Hampshire woman recently got the call she had been waiting for; Lost Paws Trapping of Belleville, Ill., was able to capture the long-lost dog. Olson hopped on the next flight to the Lou and was reunited with Walter on Friday night.

Walter and the Lost Paws Trapping crew.

Walter and the Lost Paws Trapping crew. (Gay Arnold/Lost Paws Trapping)

“13 days shy of being on the run for an entire year; living in the woods, avoiding everyone he met and finally on of all days Friday the 13th, Walter has been trapped!” Lost Paws joked of the “infamous” runaway retriever.

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During the months that he was missing, the Associated Press reports that Walter had been apparently wandering the woods behind an industrial park in the Arnold area.

Olson and her pup, reunited after nearly a year apart.

Olson and her pup, reunited after nearly a year apart. (Gay Arnold/Lost Paws Trapping)

After a ruff year of being lost, Olson's golden retriever has been basking in all the extra love and attention, including a free cleaning from a local groomer.

“He has been such a little love,” she told KDSK of the fuss. “He is the same sweet boy he was before and maybe even sweeter because he has missed getting loved on!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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