How did he get so far away??

Jinks the Australian shepherd has been on a journey these last few months, to say the least. The 3-year-old Aussie was out on a camping trip with his parents, Don and Kim Carpus, back in July when he became lost in the woods. The couple began an in-depth search for the missing doggo, ultimately staying at the Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground near the northern tip of Michigan's lower peninsula for three weeks hoping for him to turn up. They ultimately left empty handed, unsure of their little dog's fate.

It turns out Jinks was looking for them, too, but in a very different direction. His next confirmed sighting wouldn't be for another four months, from the city of Charlevoix, Mich., some 70 miles away from where he went missing!

Pastors Susan and Randy Hitts found Jinks, who was curled up, seeking shelter under their RV, which looked a lot like one belonging to Jinks' family. Susan brought the tired, fur-matted dog inside and found that Jinks' collar and ID tags were still around his neck. Susan called the number on the tag and discovered just how far the black-and-white Aussie had travelled before he took shelter under their camper.

brown and white dog that was returned home after going missing from far away
Credit: Courtesy of Susan Thorpe Hitts

"We were more than surprised. We were truly shocked," Susan Hitts tells Daily Paws. "Living in a rural resort town, we had encountered dogs who had gotten away before. However, it was always someone who was nearby."

Once she understood just how far away from home Jinks really was, Susan's compassionate spirit kicked in, and she worked to see the pupper returned home safely.

"When I realized, I wrapped my whole body around his and held him to warm him and keep him from shaking so much," she says. "Something maternal took over in me. I just wanted to get him back to his family."

To accomplish that, Susan drove 40 miles with her new furry friend in order to get the pupper back to his family. 

"I got to witness the most beautiful reunion," Susan's Facebook post about the return reads. "He seems healthy, but is certainly ready for the groomer due to burrs and fur matting."

Jinks is happy to be home and the Carpus family is once again complete. And that's something that Susan Hitts is just happy to have been a part of. 

"Today, I got a front row seat to a miracle!"