Incredible journey sees dog and owner reunited 539 days later

A happy ending has come for Portugal’s modern day “Incredible Journey” as Gui – the Golden Retriever who had been missing for 539 days – was found and reunited with his heartbroken owner in Gondomar this week.

“I have my confidant back,” a joyous António Costa (no relation to the PS leader!) told Jornal de Notícias after seeing Gui again.

“At first he looked at me with a guilty look as if he’d done something wrong, but then it was a celebration,” he said.

Gui had been missing since May last year, when his fascination for the back-seat of cars saw him jumping into the car of a stranger in their hometown of Melides, Grândola.

Feeling distraught, the 68-year-old retired banker decided to tell his story to a group of Golden Retriever lovers on Facebook, which led Coimbra-based lawyer Magda Ferreirinha to launch a Facebook page entitled ‘Ajudam a encontrar o Gui’ (Help us find Gui) with over 14,500 followers.

“I lived this problem as if it were my own, because 30 years ago I lost a dog and didn’t have the same technology there is these days to find him,” she explained.

Ferreirinha ended up speaking to thousands of people, gathering support, knocking on many doors and driving many kilometers across the country.

Many false alarms later, Gui was finally tracked down to Gondomar – around 400kms from where he disappeared – on Monday (November 16), where he was found by people who followed the Facebook page and were touched by the story.

He was “well-treated” and no one is sure how he ended up there.

“Someone probably had him and let him go free due to the pressure on social media,” Costa believes.

Rejoicing with the reunion he had been dreaming of for a long time, Costa said that the support he received to find Gui has left him confident that “the world isn’t just about hate.”

“There are also good people who help”.