WATCH: Dog missing for nearly a year in St. Louis area woods finally reunited with owner

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ARNOLD, Mo. (KMOX/AP) — A nightmare that began at a family Thanksgiving gathering near St. Louis, has finally had a miracle ending nearly a year later.

Kate Olson of New Hampshire was visiting relatives in Arnold, Mo. last Thanksgiving when her golden retriever, Walter, slipped out of his collar and took off.

She stayed in St. Louis for a few weeks hoping to find him. Although eventually returning to New England, she never gave up on him. She printed fliers and took trips back to St. Louis when she got a hot tip about a Walter sighting.

Walter the dog
Photo credit (Lost Paws Trapping)

Olson estimates she spent about $1,000 in her search.

She also created a “Where’s Walter?” Facebook page and enlisted animal rescue groups in the search.

And on Friday, Olson finally got a call she was waiting for. It was from a social-media based pet group called Lost Paws Trapping. 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!”

You can see video of Olson and Walter's reunion in the video at the top of this page, courtesy of Lost Paws Trapping. A post on their Facebook page shows video of Walter finally being "trapped." He was apparently living in the woods for nearly a year.

One of the group's organizers wanted to thank "the community diligently reporting sightings and fighting the urge to capture a dog in survival mode."

"John (owner at Perma Jack) made this reunion possible. He granted us permission to monitor his property and his hospitality made it possible to build and set the trap so quickly," the organizer stated.

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