A loyal and wounded dog trekked 125 miles through Siberian forests, avoiding bears and wolves as she desperately tried to go home to the owner who had rejected her.
Maru, a one-year-old Bullmastiff, had been put on the Trans-Siberian train to take her back to the kennels where she was born after her owner said she was allergic to her and no longer wanted to keep her.
But she managed to escape from the train, which was heading west from Krasnoyarsk to Novosibirsk, when she used her paws to open a compartment door and fled as it stopped at a remote station near Achinsk.
Train staff desperately shouted after the loyal Maru from the platform, but to no avail.
In Novosibirsk, kennel owner Alla Morozova organised a search party to find the lost dog and pleaded for information on social media.
And amazingly, two-and-a-half days later the exhausted and wounded Maru was discovered at an industrial estate, close to the home of the owner who rejected her after just six months.
The dog appeared to be “in tears” when she was found.
She had carefully gone east next to the Trans-Siberian railway track – the longest in the world – and made it through 125 miles of wild countryside.
Alla told The Siberian Times :
Luckily neither bears ate her, nor wolves chewed her up. The dog was very tired. She was lame, her paws were broken. The pads on her feet were damaged. Her muzzle was broken.
The exhausted pet fell down a railway embankment in Krasnoyarsk before being found and recognised.
Train staff told Alla that Maru had suffered a “panic attack” and was “frightened” of the noise of the train and being away from her home and her owners.
When the train stopped she “jumped on the compartment door, kicked the handle to open it and almost threw the conductor out of the way. She jumped out like a bullet. When the door opened to the platform, she jumped out into the night, into the taiga [swampy Siberian forest].”
Alla is convinced the dog would have made it the whole way back to her old home several miles away if it wasn’t for her injuries.
“I’m sure she was looking for her house,” she said. Dogs are very attached to people. She did not run to Novosibirsk, she wanted to go back to where she lived.”
She “went the right way”, even though “geographically she had no reference points”.
Alla also said she was “angry” that the owner who rejected Maru did not help in the search.
Maru has now been reunited with her biological mother and father at Alla’s kennels in Novosibirsk, after being driven the whole way back Alla’s friend Alyona Makhova, and is being treated for her injuries.