ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A Fairbanks family’s dog recently returned from a very long and unexpected journey. Aliy, a purebred malamute, just over one year old, went missing after she wandered away from her owner in mid-December.
Aliy traveled over 300 miles during her time away from home.
“My husband was out working on our cabin way down near Chena Hot Springs Road, so about 50 miles from here, and Aliy wandered off," said her owner, Annie Sartz.
Sartz’s husband noticed she'd gone missing pretty quickly, and followed her tracks to the road, but then the trail went cold.
“She doesn't have a mean bone in her body,” Sartz said. “I have no doubt that she just walked right to the road and the first car that pulled over she just jumped right in."
After that, they followed every lead trying to find her.
“We started putting up posters,” Sartz said. “I posted on social media, it got shared, like hundreds and hundreds of times.
But nothing was coming up. Sartz and her family were beginning to lose hope, until they got a phone call.
“So my husband, on Thursday afternoon, he got a phone call,” Sartz said. “He got a phone call from the animal shelter in Anchorage, that they had her."
Somehow Aliy had made her way down to the big city, and taken on a new identity.
“The shelter said that she was found wandering around downtown Anchorage with a new collar and tags with a new name and phone numbers on her."
But whoever those new numbers belonged to didn't answer there phones when called by the person who found Aliy downtown, and the shelter used a different method.
“So they scanned her for a microchip, fortunately,” Sartz said. “And we had updated her microchip with our information."
The identities of those new numbers were kept confidential. According to Sartz, the shelter said they'd pass them to police if Sartz and her family wanted to press charges.
“We don't really know what happened in between her wandering off from our cabin and getting picked up in Anchorage,” Sartz said. “But we wish she could tell us the story."
But while the middle is a mystery, this story ends with a wagging tail, and a happy family.
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