New Hampshire dog owner, golden retriever reunited after one year apart

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. — Kate Olson and her Golden Retriever Walter are best friends but the two were separated for nearly a full-year until Walter was found this past week in Missouri.

Olson was with her boyfriend and relatives near their former home in St. Louis when Walter slipped out of his collar and took off in November 2019. After two weeks of searching, and multiple trips back to Missouri for Olson, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, Walter was still missing.

Since he didn’t have his collar and no microchip, there was simply no way to track him down.

Olson said she did not give up. In fact, she teamed up with rescue groups in Missouri.

The pandemic slowed her ability to return from New Hampshire to Missouri to search more often.

Recently, Olson said someone sent her an image of Walter and she followed up with them.

Walter had been wandering near businesses in a commercial area, in Lemay, within 12 miles of the place where he initially fled.

Lost Paws Trapping, three part-time animal rescuers from Illinois, helped Olson.

The group spent months searching for Walter on Olson’s behalf.

Last week, after seeing the photo, they set up a video camera in the area where Walter was seen, and they set a trap for him.

On Friday, November 13th, at 11:55 p.m., Walter was carefully trapped.

“I went into sheer panic mode and adrenaline started going,” said Olson.

He was dirty, and covered in fleas, but was otherwise okay.

It was a relief for Olson and trappers like Gay Arnold.

“That was like our World Series of trapping,” Arnold said.

Walter seems like the same friend Kate remembered, only slightly more guarded.

Olson said she and Walter will be heading back to New Hampshire soon.

The lesson she says was learned, is to never let dogs out of your sight.