HOWARD CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — Nate Oswald’s dog Milo clearly has favorites in the family. The springer spaniel’s tail wags a little harder when the kids come through the door than for Oswald.
That’s why it was heartbreaking for Oswald to come home on a January afternoon to tell his kids that Milo was gone. He had run away.
“For the first couple weeks, they were really excited to go look for Milo because we kept getting phone calls. And every time we’d get a phone call, they were first to have their coats on ready to go,” Oswald said. “It was about four weeks, and they were still talking about Milo.”
Oswald had taken Milo to sniff out some small game in a nearby state game area. He was used to hunting with dogs but had only rescued Milo six months prior. Milo got on a scent and never came back.
“For four weeks we heard, people were calling us, telling us that, ‘Hey, your dog just got chased out of our driveway by our dog.’ So we’d run over there, try to get him to come home but he wouldn’t come,” Oswald said. “He was natural instinct, survival mode. He wanted to be on his own.”
As posts circulated social media and more people were looking for Milo, calls kept coming. One person said they woke up to their chickens and ducks making noise at two in the morning, then a dog came through the home’s dog door. It spent the night there and ate the dog food from the house. In the morning, it bolted. It was Milo.
But after four weeks, those calls came less and less often. Eventually, the hope Oswald and his family had was packed away with the kennel and the dog dish. They began to prepare for life without a dog.
“Then a random sunny Sunday, we got that call: ‘We think we have your dog,'” Oswald described the conversation his girlfriend had with the Kent County Animal Shelter.
They drove there immediately.
“As soon as we saw Milo in his kennel, he just had that big cheesing smile that he has when he sees you for the first time,” Oswald said.
Milo curled his lip and wagged his tail. He was almost as happy as the kids.
Milo was lost for 43 days. He had lost more than 30 pounds. They found him at the bottom of an old, abandoned silo; dirty, wet and hungry.
“We figured he took County Line, which was Newcosta (Avenue), took that all the way down because that’s where people kept seeing him was Newcosta and Almy, Newcosta and the next intersection,” Oswald said of Milo’s path to the silo. “It seems like he just followed that around.”
Oswald’s calling Milo the miracle dog.
He still has plans to take him back out hunting. A tea company, Milo’s Tea, dropped off some treats and gear along with a GPS dog collar, so getting lost should be a thing of the past.
Until then, this dog is having his day, reunited with his best friends with a big pile of treats to get some meat back on his bones.
“I don’t care if he can’t hunt, I don’t care if he’s lost running,” Oswald said. “But I care about how these kids feel and having him here it just definitely helps.”