Portugal’s “incredible journey” may see dog and master reunited after 18 months of heartbreak

The final chapter of a modern-day “Incredible Journey” involving Golden Retriever Gui may at last be over.

The beautiful dog with a fatal attraction for the back-seat of cars has not been seen by his owner since “a moment of distraction” in May last year in which Gui seems to have delightedly popped himself into the car of a stranger.

The car drove off, taking Gui with it – and since then a Facebook community numbering as many as 6000 people have been on the lookout, while relatives of Gui’s heartbroken owner have travelled Portugal, following up leads.

Along the way, they have even adopted other retrievers sighted by willing helpers, but which were not the beloved Gui.

Then, this week, something wonderful happened. A dog answering Gui’s description was seen in Paços de Ferreira – 400 kilometres from the village of Melides, near Grândola from which he went missing.

Gui’s Facebook page burst into activity, with two women from Porto who met via the page and had never seen each other, agreeing to drive to Paços de Ferreira the very next day.

The duo got to their destination, but couldn’t find him. The next day they returned, and ‘bingo’, ‘Gui’ – or a dog that certainly looks very much like him – is now bathed, de-flead, being treated for conjunctivitis and the cousin of his retired owner is getting ready to drive 400 km to get him.

“There is some hope”, writes Diário de Notícias, that this time the dog really is Gui.

Explained Magda Ferreirinha, the woman who started the Facebook page and who has knocked on more doors in the last 18 months than she cares to remember, the two animals certainly look alike. They have the same brown nose, they answer to the name of “Gui” and coincidentally, this one has shown himself very ready to jump into a car that has its door open.

To know for sure, Facebookers are holding their breaths until Saturday, when Magda is due to jump into her own car and head to Paços de Ferreira.

This shaggy-dog story has yet to reach its end

“Lucky boy”, found in Paços de Ferreira last week, is not Gui… but he has gone home with Gui’s owners who posted yesterday: “It’s a pity he wasn’t Gui, but Lucky Boy now has a family…”

Thus the hunt continues, and Facebookers stay vigilant.

As Lucky boy settled into his new home, a new member to the page posted a photo of a bedraggled sand-covered retriever saying:

“This one is lost on Praia da Apúlia… I don’t know if he could be Gui…”

And another talked of a “golden” in Lisbon’s municipal kennel…

To stay on the t(r)ail of this incredible journey through Portugal’s animal-loving world, see:

Ajudem a encontrar o Gui on Facebook.

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