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Joy

In a 'Christmas miracle,' family reunited with their dog found 60 miles away in the cold woods

She ran away on the 4th of July because she got scared.

lost dog michigan, livonia post office, dogs and fireworks

A dog on a cold mountain trail.

The 4th of July may be more than half a year away, but it bears repeating that the holiday is a very stressful time for dogs, cats and animals with hypersensitive hearing. According to Psychology Today, a dog’s sense of hearing is four times as powerful as a human's. So, what we can hear 20 feet away, they can hear from 80.

Dogs can also hear far more than we do because they’re attuned to a higher frequency of sounds. That’s why the loud bangs, pops and booms of the 4th of July are so terrifying to a dog. According to NPR, pet shelters experience a huge influx of dogs around the fourth because many get scared and run away from their homes.

We’re sharing a story from WXYZ Detroit because it’s a reminder of how sensitive dogs are to fireworks, but it also has a happy ending.


Last summer, Andrea and Pablo Campos dropped their dog Tawny off at a daycare in Ingham County, Michigan, en route to a vacation in Traverse City about three hours away. While they were on vacation they got a call that Tawny had escaped the facility by scaling an 8-foot-high fence. The people at the facility believe she may have been spooked by the fireworks.

The family quickly canceled their vacation and returned home to find their missing dog. “We went door to door to people’s houses and just looking for weeks and weeks and weeks and she was nowhere to be found," Pablo told WXYZ.

Unbeknown to the Campos family, Tawny traveled 60 miles away from their home and was living in the woods, behind a post office in Livonia. The postal workers would feed Tawny from time to time but as it got colder, they decided she needed to be somewhere warm.

Postal workers Steven Persyn, Dave Brisco, Adam Kaminski and Jason Sobieski worked with the South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery to rescue the dog. “I can say there’s not a postal person I’ve met that doesn’t love animals,” a representative for the animal rescue wrote on Facebook. “Thank the lord for our post office!”

At the animal rescue, they found that Tawny had a microchip and they were able to locate her family. The animal shelter says that Tawny was recovered six years to the date that she was adopted by the Campos family.


The Campos family said that it’s a “Christmas miracle” that Tawny was able to make her way home. “We considered her a princess that needed lots of pampering. And somehow she’s managed to live on her own and make it," Pablo said.

“I know there’s so many cliches talking about Christmas miracles, but we really, actually got one," Andrea added.

Tawny’s story is a touching Christmas story and also a poignant reminder about the dangers of dogs and fireworks. But there’s another lesson that the South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery would like everyone to remember as well. “THIS HAPPENED BECAUSE SHE WAS MICROCHIPPED!” they emphatically wrote on Facebook. “Get a microchip, and then follow through and register it!”

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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