Credit: Stock photo / Pexels

ARNOLD, Mo. — Nearly a year after Walter the dog went missing in suburban St. Louis, apparently wandering the woods behind an industrial park, the golden retriever is back with his owner.

KSDK-TV reports that Kate Olson of New Hampshire was in Arnold, Missouri, visiting relatives last Thanksgiving when Walter slipped out of his collar and took off. Olson stayed in Missouri for weeks searching for the dog and printing and distributing fliers.

She eventually returned to New England but got calls about sightings. She returned in January to search again. No luck, so she created a “Where’s Walter?” Facebook page and enlisted animal rescue groups in the search.

Finally, on Friday, Olson got the call she had been waiting for. A group based in Belleville, Illinois, called Lost Paws Trapping was able to capture Walter. Olson immediately got on a plane and was reunited with Walter Friday night.

“He has been such a little love,” Olson said. “He is the same sweet boy he was before and maybe even sweeter because he has missed getting loved on!”