Dog walks home after owners forget it at service station – and is unrecognisable

After accidentally being left behind at a motorway service station, a seven-year-old dog reportedly managed to walk all the way back to his home.

The dog, known as Dou Dou, walked 37 miles to be reunited with its family, according to Hangzhou-based newspaper Qianjiang Evening News.

The owner, a Mr Qiu, had been travelling with the dog and his family, from Hangzhou to visit relatives in the countryside.

They stopped at the Tong Lu Service Station to look after their child, believing that the dog was in the car the whole time.

However, when they arrived home several hours later, they realised this wasn’t the case – and Dou Dou was nowhere to be found.

The next day the family returned to the service station in hopes of finding their pet, but had no luck.

Time passed and they instead began hoping someone kind had taken in their dog.

Speaking to Qianjiang Evening News, Mr Qiu said: “[We] hoped it would survive and find a good-hearted person who would adopt it.”

Then one day a “dirty, gaunt stray dog” turned up on their doorstep. Dou Dou had returned to them – but was almost unrecognisable.

Mr Qiu explained: “Apart from being skinnier than before, [Dou Dou] was still the same self.

“Its eyes are radiating with lights.

“Luckily it didn’t have any injuries.

“Even though Dou Dou was tired and walking wobbly on the first day [after returning home], it has become a lot more energetic recently.”

Speaking to the same publication, dog experts branded Dou Dou’s behaviour “incredible” but warned other owners to be more vigilant with their pets when travelling, as it was most likely a fluke that the dog found its own way home.

They added that there is no guarantee that another animal would be able to do the same thing.