Elderly Shelter Dog Goes On Five-Day Trek Through Poland to Choose His New Parents

Sometimes the elderly are set in their ways, and so it goes with Gary, a blind shelter dog in Poland who weathered an incredible journey to return to his foster family. The story could easily be a Disney feature film, with Gary navigating the countryside across an incredible 16 miles over five days to make his way back to the seaport city of Gdynia on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, all to return to his rescue home.

Gary was originally a street dog and had been living in an animal shelter for four long years. His luck changed when a family volunteered to temporarily foster the stray, finding him through animal charity Paka dla Zwierzaka in Gdansk. The senior pet seemed to enjoy his new family and became a hit around the neighborhood as well.

Dogs don't rationalize. They don't hold anything against a person. They don't see the outside of a human but the inside of a human. - Cesar Millan

Of course, these were intended to be temporary accommodations and, three weeks in, an older gentleman reached out to Paka dla Zwierzaka with intentions to adopt Gary. The adopter was eager to care for Gary, and the dog was taken south to his new home in the village of Zukowo, west of Gdansk.

The day after being adopted, Gary made a run for it when his new dad asked him to get into his car. Notices were put up and Zukowo residents kept a lookout for the dog but turned up empty. Then, three days later, Gary was seen north of the village in Banino, before his old foster home heard reports that he was back in Gdynia.

After being adopted from his temporary owners and taken 26km away to a new home, Gary escaped and spent the next five days making his way through the frosty streets back to his ‘rescue’ family.

A child who met the dog during his foster care gathered folks to look for him, and he was soon found near the home where he spent his first three weeks out of the shelter. The pupper had endured a 16-mile trek through frosty weather to end up back where he started.

What else could the foster family do? They took Gary in and the spirited senior has found his forever home. His adopter apparently understands and respects the elderly pup’s decision, and Paka dla Zwierzaka is now looking for his new canine companion.

Meanwhile, Gary can take a much-needed nap.

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