PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Niko the dog made an emotional return home after being lost in the wilderness for 31 days.
David Alt and his beloved Niko were separated on July 26 when Niko was hit by a car and ran off near Elks Pass in Washington.
Alt and his friend searched for hours late into the night but found no sign of the dog. By not finding any blood trails, Alt held out hope that Nico was without any serious injuries.
Alt and his friend searched the area with the next 2 days. He eventually set up a “base camp” tent with Niko’s dog bed, water and clothes that smelled like him along with signage so passersby would understand. Alt camped out on weekends to continue his search.
Alt and his family posted flyers, spent hours scouring nearby areas for any sign of Niko and even brought in another dog to help sniff out a trail. Facebook groups and community members spread the word in hopes of anyone coming across Niko. Alt was calling every pet shelter he could, but still no sign of Niko.
When hope seemed to be all but extinguished, Alt’s son came to tell him that they’d received a voicemail message — someone claimed to have found Niko.
Alt was skeptical at first. But, when Brad Woods and Troy McKay arrived at Alt’s home with a skinny, disheveled Shiba Inu — tears started to roll.
When Niko got out of the car he slowly walked towards Alt and his son. They knew it was really him — just 20 pounds lighter and 1 eye closed shut.
Woods and McKay found Niko just 100 yards away from the base camp Alt set up. They brought him home to the Alt’s on Saturday, Aug, 24 — a full 31 days after he ran off.
Alt said that in the time Niko’s been home, he’s been eating, drinking and going about all other business as usual. Alt said Niko is “doing incredible.”
Although no one will ever know exactly what he went through in those 31 days, the memory of Niko’s adventure will live on.
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