Dog lost for 2 years may have used family's scent to find them - WKRN News 2

Dog lost for 2 years may have used family's scent to find them

Posted: Updated: Jun 18, 2014 10:25 PM
Murphy was reunited with her family after two years in the wilderness. (Courtesy: ABC News) Murphy was reunited with her family after two years in the wilderness. (Courtesy: ABC News)
NEVADA CITY, Calif. -

After wandering away from her family two years ago, a dog may have used the scent of familiar items to find her way back to her owners.

ABC News reports that Nathan and Erin Braun lost their 5-year-old golden retriever named Murphy while camping in the Tahoe National Forest in California.

The Brauns posted flyers and searched for their beloved dog but were never able to find her.

That changed earlier this month when a camper, Jason Smith, contacted the family, letting them know that he spotted Murphy in the area.

The Brauns drove to the campground and set down Murphy's blanket along with a baseball cap and some of their personal items.

"The very first night I laid it out I heard some movement,” explained Smith. “There was Murphy sleeping on the blanket, and right there I knew, that's Murphy. That's their dog. It was curled up with its head on the hat.”

Smith was able to put a leash on the dog while his friend notified the Brauns their dog had been found.

He said the couple had an emotional reunion with their pet.

"It was very touching. The whole family was crying. I was doing my best to not cry,” stated Smith.

The Brauns said Murphy had some physical differences from before, but they attribute that to two years in the wilderness.

The couple is doing a DNA test to confirm the dog is actually Murphy, but said they are 99 percent sure.

*ABC News contributed to this story.

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