When Colton Michael got home from work last Wednesday he found a dog on his front porch. It was as if the yellow lab-border collie mix was waiting for Michael to arrive, he told CBS News via email on Tuesday.
The dog wasn't his — but it seemed like she felt at home. That's because in a way, she was. The dog, later identified as Cleo, had previously lived at the house in Lawson, Missouri, with her owners nearly two years ago.
Michael's family moved into the house in November 2018 and had never seen the dog before.
"We were very surprised," Michael told CBS News. "We assumed she was a neighbor's dog that we hadn't seen around, or some simple explanation like that. No way we would ever guess she came from so far away."
Cleo's family now lives in Kansas. So, to get back to their old house in Missouri, she would have had to travel 57 miles, "which is a little over an hour drive and something like a 15-20 hour walk," Michael said.
Michael had Cleo scanned for a microchip, which she had. The chip revealed who her owners are and upon finding them on Facebook, Michael realized they posted about the missing dog just two days prior.
Michael immediately contacted them after seeing the post. Still, he wasn't sure how or why Cleo ended up at the house — and it seemed she was confused by its new residents.
"She did seem very confused in a way that I can't say I've seen in another dog," Michael said.
"You could see in her eyes that she didn't recognize or trust us, but as soon as the owners' car pulled up her ears perked up, and when she saw the young men, even though they were wearing masks, she changed her demeanor like flipping a switch," Michael said.
"We were relieved that we found her family. We have dogs and we love them very much so we know the heartbreak involved with losing a pup," Michael said. "We were scared for the poor girl and hurting for the owners."
Michael said he thinks every dog owner should have their pups chipped. "If it wasn't for that, we may have never been able to reunite Cleo with her family again," he said.
Cleo's journey remains a mystery, but she is now back with her owners. "We love our home so I can see how she would want to come back to it," Michael said.