How a missing dog made its way to Fort Myers Beach, helping a man along the way - 96.9 WINK FM

How a missing dog made its way to Fort Myers Beach, helping a man along the way


What makes the 4-year-old puppy Gus so special? He was lost for nearly a week, away from his family through New Year’s weekend, until a man who was living in a temporary FEMA location found him.

Their journey together and the reunion with Gus’ original owners changed all of their lives.

4-year-old puppy Gus and family. (Credit: Shared with WINK News)

If there is one thing we have learned in the last three or four months, it’s how to hold our loved ones a little tighter and deal with voids in our hearts and lives.

Many have also found that blessings come in different forms. “I really missed him. It was very quiet in our home. I could not fall asleep until I knew where my little ‘Gus Gus’ was,” said 9-year-old Penelope Horvath.

Sometimes they’re big, sometimes they’re small, sometimes they cry, and sometimes they have tails to wag.

Four-year-old Gus ran off from his family in Fort Myers and was missing for nearly a week.

“It was the Friday before New Year’s, and Gus ran off,” said Sarah Horvath, Gus’ owner.

Little Gus and his family aren’t from Southwest Florida, they are from Minnesota. They’re staying in Harlem Heights at Adventures in Missions, serving the community in the wake of the hurricane.

A man who had just missed his bus spotted Gus roaming through the streets.

“I saw this poor dog running up and down Summerlin. He almost got hit by at least five or six cars,” said Michael Spoor.

Spoor only had his bike and his two hands, but he saved the dog from the oncoming traffic. “I was upset. I was worried.”

Spoor looked around but did not see anyone around, it was getting late, and he wasn’t about to leave the dog on the side of the road. He decided to bring Gus back to the Pink Shell, where he has stayed since he lost his house during Ian.

4-year-old puppy Gus in the Pink Shell Beach Resort. (Credit: Shares with WINK News)

“We just knew that he was with somebody. Snuggling up on their bed. Loving on them. Being the joy and the light because that’s just who he is,” said Sarah Horvath.

“I had a feeling that this dog was very well-behaved. Very nice. That must have been a family dog,” said Spoor.

The family documented their entire journey trying to find their beloved Gus, from posting the missing dog poster with Gus on it to each of their four children going on nearby nature trails trying to find him.

It’s hard not to shed tears when you see the kids, as a team, trying to find their best friend.

Little did they know that his journey took him all the way across the bridge to Fort Myers Beach.

“We were out here with the dog watching the sunset, and some folks passed by,” Spoor said.

Those folks had seen Gus’ picture all over social media and recognized Gus on the beach, “And they called the family,” said Spoor.

The next day, Sarah’s husband, Chris, went to the Pink Shell to see if it was really Gus, and it was.

Chris and 4-year-old puppy Gus. (Credit: WINK News)

“I had my Gus Gus back,” said Penelope Horvath.

“It was meant to be because I actually spent the holidays alone because my niece and nephew went out of state. They left. So I was here by myself,” said Spoor.

“First thing he said to me was, ‘ma’am… Your dog saved my life.’ I said, ‘what do you mean, Michael?’ And he said, ‘it’s been really hard. And I was going to make some really bad decisions if I had to go back to my hotel room one more time alone. And Gus found me. And I didn’t have to be alone,’” said Sarah.

The family continued documenting Gus’ journey up to the moment the puppy was reunited with their kids.

4-year-old puppy Gus and family. (Credit: WINK News)

Spoor said Gus helped him get a new perspective on life. Gus’ family says they are working on getting Gus and Spoor the chance to see one another again.


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