Beloved Dog With Deadly Illness Walked 111 Miles Home After Getting Lost On Appalachian Trail

If you were camping or hiking with a beloved friend or family member and they got lost in the wilderness, you would likely go to any length to find them and ensure their health and safety. In 1998, Fielding Marshall had to do just that when his six-year-old golden retriever mix, Gonker, got lost from him while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

Source: Paul Toutonghi

Marshall’s brother in law, Paul Toutonghi, recaps the frantic search for Gonker in the Appalachian mountains and the impact it had on his family in his book Dog Gone.


Source: Audible

Gonker was no ordinary dog for Marshall: he adopted Gonker as a puppy shortly after his baby daughter died during a heart surgery in 1991, after which his girlfriend left without saying goodbye. Gonker was Marshall’s best friend and rescued him just as Marshall had rescued the young pup.

“Every family, it seems, has that single pet – the one that’s different from all the others – the one that somehow becomes enshrined in family lore,” writes Toutonghi.


When Gonker got separated from Marshall in 1998, Marshall knew he had to find Gonker right away.

Gonker suffered from Addison’s disease, which is an adrenal deficiency requiring that the dog receive an injection once a month to survive. The entire Marshall family sprung into action to help find Gonker, searching the surrounding forest, contacting local authorities and shelters, and even got an article into the Associated Press news wire.

15 days after he had gone missing, a call from a police officer reported that he had been found eating food from a trash can 111 miles away from his hometown.

“He bolted toward his owner, running faster than Fielding had ever seen him run. Dog and owner collided… and fell to the ground in a heap,” recalls Toutonghi.

After his great adventure, Gonker lived five more happy years with the Marshalls before passing away at the age of 11.

If you’ve ever questioned dog as man’s best friend, this story will surely set this idea straight.



Cute Golden Retriever Executes The Most Adorable Trust Fall With Its Loving Owner

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but maybe you can when those tricks include food or snuggling. Some dogs are also smart enough to constantly learn new things, regardless of age or motivation, which is one of the reasons why golden retrievers are one of the top dog breeds. They’re shining personalities, playfulness, and love for their humans is undeniable and pretty hard to resist.

One Instagram user, Allyson Davis-Montgomery posted a new trick learned by one of her golden retrievers, Clark, that she is calling a, “trust fall.” Check out this adorable video of Clark, who is sitting on the couch with Ally, lean back into her loving arms. While Clark may not be doing this for any trust-testing reasons, it sure is adorable and seems to be a good tactic to get some belly rubs and face kisses from his mom!

Clark is the star alongside his sister, Pippa, of their own Instagram account located here, where you can view him and his sister doing tons of adorable things, including more trust falls and lots of snuggles. The two beautiful goldens live with their people in Alaska and are about two years and one year old, respectively.

Clark, we’ll catch you in a trust fall anytime!

Woman Gets The Surprise Of A Lifetime At Sea World When Dolphin Steals Her iPad

It definitely isn’t every day that you see someone be mugged by a marine animal.  A woman at SeaWorld in Orlando Florida decided that it was a good idea to hang her iPad over over the edge of the dolphin tank to take pictures of the playful sea creatures. Too bad the thieving dolphins head other plans for her.

A large dolphin saw right up to the edge of the tank, and poked his head out long enough to snatch the woman’s iPad. The best part is, someone captured the entire debacle on their phone and shared it with the world!

Kuadiel Gomez caught the thief red flippered! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Gomez started recording just in time to record the curious dolphin poking his head about the enclosure. Within just a few moments, the iPad is in the dolphin’s mouth and  laughter erupts form the crowd of onlookers. A few moments later the iPad adorned in a pink case is seen floating in the animal’s tank as its owner fishes it out as quickly as possible.

The entire scene takes place is less than 30 seconds, but the damage is done. We all know Applecare doesn’t cover drowning by dolphin.

Ironically last year SeaWorld visitors were banned from feeding dolphins. Guests used to be able to purchase $7 trays of fish in order to lure the mammals over to the side of their enclosure to interact with and snap pictures of the animals. Turns out, the dolphins just developed either a desire to protest the lack of fish, or have acquired a taste for the finer things in life, like Apple gadgets.