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Dog Makes 500-Mile Journey Home


Bucky, a 3-year-old black Labrador, somehow traveled 500 miles from Virginia all the way home to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to be reunited with his owner, Mark Wessells.

"I thought I was going to cry, but I didn't. He definitely recognized me instantly," Wessells told TV station WPDE. "It's just crazy he made it down here on his own. You know it's like homeward bound is what I'm thinking."

This past January, Wessells had to leave the dog with his father in Winchester, Va., because dogs were banned from where Wessells lives in Myrtle Beach.

But Bucky wouldn't have it. Somehow, the dog managed to travel all the way home to South Carolina, by himself.

Two weeks ago, local resident Brett Gallagher found Bucky wandering through his "Carolina Forest" neighborhood, noticed he got along pretty well with his own yellow lab, Hannah, and took him in.

"Apparently the dog came up to them at 2 a.m. when Brett was out walking their dog. They were kind of scared at first, but he was friendly as can be. Brett put some weight on him. He was pretty emaciated when he first got him," Lexie Grant from Grand Strand Animal Hospital told ABC News.

Gallagher looked on Craigslist and other local postings for ads that described the missing dog, but found nothing. So the temporary owner took Bucky into the animal hospital to get a physical done. This is when the veterinarian, Dr. Amanda Thomas, found his microchip revealing Bucky's real name and his owner's phone number.

"He was going nuts when the vet called him by his real name. His hears went right up," Gallagher told ABC News.

As soon as Wessells got the phone call that Bucky was at the nearby animal hospital, he made his way there to be reunited with his long-lost Labrador.

It's still unclear exactly how Bucky made his way home, but Dr. Thomas thinks it may be due to the dog's keen sense of smell. Apparently when Bucky returned to his owner's house "he was rolling all around. He was just laying in all of his blankets just soaking up his smell," Grant said.

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