January 4, 2009

Lost dog was determined to find family

An 85-pound Labrador retriever named Timber endured cactus spines and a cut to hunt down his California family 2 miles away at a house he'd only visited by car.

Timber had been staying with Justin Murrietta's parents because Murrietta's landlord in Yorba Linda does not allow dogs, the Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Sunday.

On Dec. 30, Timber escaped through an open gate at Armando and Rose Murrietta's home about 2 miles from Justin's house, which the dog had visited occasionally by car.

The family posted fliers, checked the local animal control Web site every hour and drove around Yorba Linda looking for Timber.

About midnight on New Year's Eve, Justin Murrietta's wife April heard a thumping at the front door and found Timber covered in cactus spines and with a cut that required 20 stitches. Apparently, the thumping was Timber hitting his tail against the front door.

The Murriettas plan to ask their landlord if Timber can stay while his stitches heal.

This family would have been torn up if Timber didn't come home, said Justin's mother Rose. He really is one of the family.