A dog whose story of heartbreaking loyalty to her former owners went viral on Facebook has found a new and loving home.
Cathleen, a Great Pyrenees mix, twice took 20-mile walks trying to get back to owners who had given her away because they weren’t able to care for her.
The owners, an elderly couple who a few months earlier moved to a new home in Seminole, Oklahoma, concluded they were unable to continue caring for Cathleen, Marta Mattingly, treasurer of the Seminole Humane Society, told HuffPost. In part, the couple cited restrictions on pet ownership in their new home.
They gave Cathleen to a family in Prague, Oklahoma — about 20 miles away — but the dog didn’t want to stay put. At least twice, Cathleen showed up in her old neighborhood after escaping from the home in Prague.
“She just didn’t want to stay there,” said Mattingly. “It’s a straight shot from Prague back to Seminole.”
That Cathleen, who Mattingly described as “very smart” and “as sweet as can be,” was able to find her way back isn’t as surprising as some might think.
“Great Pyrenees are very intelligent,” Mattingly said, adding that they often work with livestock in rural areas and need the ability to navigate over large swathes of land. “You’ll see them miles away from home, and they make it back.”
After her escapes, the people in Prague decided that Cathleen may not be a good fit for their home. That’s when the humane society got involved to help find a new, permanent family for the dog.
After posting a notice about Cathleen on its Facebook page Monday, the group was flooded with calls and messages from people all over the U.S. interested in adopting her.
On Friday, the shelter announced that Cathleen had found a new home in Texas, which Mattingly said seems “wonderful.”
While there’s a risk Cathleen may try again to return to Oklahoma, Mattingly said at her new place, she’ll be an inside dog with access to a securely fenced yard. And one of her new owners works from home, so she’ll get plenty of attention during the day.
For anyone who was moved by Cathleen’s story and wanted to adopt her, Mattingly emphasized there are similarly fantastic animals in shelters all over the country.
“There are a lot of animals like Cathleen out there,” she said. “There are just so many out there that need homes.”
Clarification: Language in this story has been amended to clarify that while Great Pyrenees often work with livestock, they are not technically herding dogs.