Nathan couldn’t believe his eyes. After a grueling four-year search, she was finally standing in front of him. The sight was enough to bring tears to his eyes.
Nathan Thompson loved his dog Alexa more than anything in the world. She was his first roommate, his best friend, and everything he could’ve wanted in a dog.
So the devastation he felt when he lost her to the sea was completely understandable.
Nathan And His Dog Alexa
When Nathan moved out of his parent’s house at the age of eighteen, Alexa was the first thing he bought.
When he walked past the pet store and saw the pitch-black ball of fluff staring up at him, he simply couldn’t resist her.
He went in and bought the little Newfoundland puppy on the spot. And that was how their deep-seated friendship began.
They Loved Fishing
Two years later, in 2017, Nathan and Alexa moved to San Diego, where they could finally enjoy their love of fishing. Nathan bought a small boat, and their fishing trips became a weekly occurrence.
Mostly it was just him, Alexa, and the vast open ocean. But they liked it that way.
And Alexa was especially fond of eating their catch of the day.
Early Saturday Morning
So it came as no surprise that the pair got up early on Saturday morning to prepare for their day of fishing. But this Saturday was unlike any other.
It would leave a void in Nathan’s heart that no one could fill.
The day seemed like any other, and Nathan was excited to get out to sea. He was completely unaware of what lay ahead.
They Were Getting Ready To Head Out
Nathan packed up his gear and loaded it into the car while Alexa patiently waited to get on the road. She was sitting next to the door with her life vest in her mouth.
It seemed like she was just as excited as Nathan was.
But neither of them was prepared for the tragic loss that was about to befall them.
Alex’s Life Vest
Being a Newfoundland, Alexa didn’t really need a life vest. Newfoundlanders were fantastic swimmers that were often used as rescue dogs.
But Nathan always had this fear that she would fall into the water and get lost.
So he had her wearing it since she was a pup. Little did he know that the vest would end up saving her life.
It Was A Beautiful Day
It was a beautiful day, with the sun starting to peak over the horizon by the time Nathan and Alexa reached their boat.
The temperatures were just starting to rise, and from the smell in the air, Nathan could tell that there would be plenty of fish about.
However, it wasn’t the fish he should’ve been worried about.
Out At Sea
Nathan and Alexa got on the boat and steered toward the smaller islands off the coast. Nathan’s favorite fishing spot was just past the islands, and he wanted to get there as early as possible.
Before long, Nathan got to his spot and switched off the ignition.
He played with Alexa for a little while, not knowing that it would be the last time he got to do it.
Waiting For A Catch
The sun was high in the sky when Nathan tossed his bait into the water. Alexa was lying in front of him, eagerly waiting for him to make that first catch.
But being alone in the sun while on a boat, waiting for the fish to bite, can get a little boring over time.
And if you’re as tired as Nathan was, it’s easy to drift off.
Nathan had a really hectic week. He had just started a new job and wanted to impress his boss. So he had put in a lot of extra hours, and the exhaustion was starting to catch up with him.
He didn’t even realize that his eyes were closing. And had only discovered that he had fallen asleep when the zing of his fishing line woke him up.
But it was already too late.
Nathan jumped up and reached for his rod, immediately reeling it in. That was when he realized something strange was going on.
Alexa always barked when he had a catch, but this time she wasn’t even there.
Shocked by the silence, Nathan looked around. But he couldn’t see Alexa anywhere, and it wasn’t like his boat was very big-a dog her size could be seen from a mile away.
The Search Began
Nathan was getting concerned. Being absent for this long was not typical for Alexa, especially not when there was a fish on the line.
At first, he thought she might’ve gone below deck to get away from the sun, as Newfoundlanders weren’t used to such hot days.
So he went down to check and found something that shocked him to his core.
Nowhere To Be Found
Nathan’s heart was pounding in his throat as he ran back up. He called Alexa’s name over and over again, but there was no sign of her anywhere.
Nathan looked out at the vast open ocean, hoping Alexa had just gone for a swim to cool down.
But he couldn’t even see a hint of her bright orange life vest.
Contacting The Authorities
Nathan was distraught and did the only thing he could think of. He radioed the local coast guard as well as the Navy base he passed to get to his fishing spot.
Luckily, the coast guard understood the distressed man and sent a team out to help him find his beloved dog.
Nathan felt a sense of relief wash over him. If anyone could find Alexa in this big ocean, it was the coast guard.
A Weekend Long Search Operation
When the coast guard arrived at his coordinates, Nathan showed them a picture of Alexa and told them exactly what had happened.
Convinced that the pup couldn’t have gotten far, the coast guard began their search.
Saturday passed without a word. Sunday came and went. But there was no sign of Alexa being anywhere near where Nathan last saw her.
A week passed, and Nathan still hadn’t heard anything from the coast guard.
He was starting to lose hope because he knew that even though Newfoundlanders were amazing, strong dogs, Alexa wouldn’t be able to survive in the water for that long.
Nathan was crushed by the thought, but it was a possibility he couldn’t ignore.
Posting A Message Online
Two weeks after Alexa went missing, Nathan posted a heartfelt message on Facebook. He explained what had happened to her and thanked her for being there when he needed her most.
His inbox was flooded with messages of support, but that did nothing to make him feel better.
He missed Alexa, and no amount of messages was going to bring her back.
Six Weeks Later
For the next six weeks, Nathan went to the shore every single morning and night. He was hoping that he might’ve been mistaken and that Alexa would magically reappear.
Then one night, as Nathan was looking over the water, his phone rang. It wasn’t a local number, so he answered out of curiosity.
There was a man on the other end of the line, but he was speaking in a language Nathan couldn’t understand.
The man on the phone eventually got fed up with Nathan’s inability to understand him and hung up. But to Nathan, it was a sign.
He felt that it was time for him to let his beloved dog go and move on with his life. He wasn’t the type of person who would just give up.
But he had to admit that his search had gone on for far too long.
Years Fly By
Over the next four years, Nathan tried to put the incident behind him, but there were some things that never changed. He stayed in San Diego, and every night, he visited the shore.
Every year on the 15th of July, he would go out to sea and hold a little remembrance ceremony for Alexa.
And he was still unable to open his heart to any other dog.
Tracking Her Chip
But this year was different. While Nathan was out at sea for his little moment of silence, a wave of emotions washed over him. He missed Alexa terribly and wanted something to remind him of the good times they shared.
So he pulled out his laptop and looked at the information that was stored on her microchip.
What he saw left him speechless.
Over the last few years, the microchip kept recording data, and according to it, Alexa has been all over the world.
Nathan just stared at the screen, unable to put a proper thought together. This could mean that she was still alive and that she was somewhere out there.
But how was that possible? And where was she?
A spark of hope flared in Nathan’s chest. If Alexa were alive, he would find her, even if it meant he had to travel to the other side of the world to get her.
There was only one problem. The website that stored the data recorded by her microchip wasn’t updated regularly.
The last update was over a month ago. So she could be anywhere by now.
He Didn’t Know What To Do
Nathan started pinning every single location she had ever been to on a map, determined to find a trail that could point him in the right direction.
But after he saw all the countries and ports he pinned down, the severity of the matter dawned on him.
He had no idea where to start or how to proceed.
Such A Long Trail
Over the last few years, a never-ending trail of locations has been collected. Nearly every single country on the planet was listed in the microchip data. And they weren’t only listed once.
Multiple countries appeared over and over again, which meant that Nathan’s search was leading him to multiple dead ends.
If one country were visited regularly, he would know where to go. But in this case, there didn’t seem to be an end.
She Could Be Anywhere
From his research, Nathan concluded that Alexa must be on a boat, but which boat? And where did it make port?
Without that information, he had absolutely nothing to go on. Alexa could be anywhere in the world, and his search could turn into a lifelong mission with the rate things are going.
But that night, Nathan got a lucky break.
A Strange Phone Call
As Nathan returned home, he received a call from a very serious-sounding man.
The man told Nathan that he had something Nathan was looking for in his possession.
Nathan’s heart skipped a beat. He asked the man what he was talking about, but the man simply told him to meet him at the marina at 6 am the following morning.
At The Meeting Point
Nathan was a nervous wreck as he parked his car. He had never done anything like this in his life, and for all he knew, it could be a setup. But he couldn’t let such an opportunity slip through his fingers.
He got out of his car and saw five men standing in the distance.
One of them looked like an official, but the rest didn’t.
He Couldn’t Believe It
Nathan cautiously approached but relaxed the minute he saw the navy uniform. The man wearing it was still young, and Nathan assumed he must’ve joined recently.
With a warm smile, the man introduced himself as Petty Officer James Ward.
He informed Nathan that he had heard the story of Alexa and that the men who were with him had a gift for Nathan.
The Chinese sailors stepped aside, revealing the pitch-black Newfoundlander that had occupied Nathan’s mind for the last four years.
As it turns out, Alexa had fallen off the boat, and the sailors found her while leaving the port. They tried to call Nathan, but he didn’t understand them.
So they got Alexa a passport, and she has been roaming the seas with them ever since. They had been looking for Nathan for four years.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.