Anchorage man and dog attempt to walk another lap around the planet after attack

Mike Mitchell and his dog Chance are aiming to repeat their feat of walking the equivalent of the circumference of the Earth.
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 8:52 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Mike Mitchell and his Shih Tzu Chance are a staple in their South Anchorage neighborhood, walking every day no matter the circumstances.

The two walked gained notoriety last year for walking 24,901 miles, or the equivalent of walking the circumference of the Earth.

Soon after completing their first trip around the globe, they began taking steps toward a second lap, and then everything changed when Chance was attacked by a dog during one of their walks in February.

“We were kind of in a bad state,” Mitchell said, describing the days after the attack.

The other dog bit Chance, crushing his humorous bone along with leaving other severe bite marks, according to Mitchell. Veterinarians attempted to save the Shih Tzu’s leg but were unable put it back together, and had to amputate it.

It took Chance three weeks to recover from the surgery, but the day he got his staples removed the duo were back to walking.

“It was hard for him. ... He had to learn how to use his one leg in the place of two,” Mitchell said “But since then he has been — he’s such a good dog. I’ve been kind of pushing him … he almost has the same endurance he had with four legs. He still has some issues, but he’s done so much better over this past month.”

There’s been an adjustment period for Chance walking with three legs, but other than stairs, Mitchell said Chance can practically do everything he could do before the attack. Over the past month, Mitchell said they have logged 1,000 miles, and are over 10% into their second lap around the earth.

“We have a strong discipline. We go no matter what the weather is. ... We have no excuses and obviously I’m not letting him have an excuse,” Mitchell said. “We’re going to do this, I don’t know how to say it any better than that.”

The initial lap around the Earth started out as a way for Mitchell to lose weight and get healthy after a long battle with Hepatitis C, which he had contracted during a surgery. Mitchell credited Chace and all those walks with saving his life.

Attempting to walk another lap around the globe has helped Mitchell move on from the resentment and anger he felt for weeks after Chance was bitten.

“It’s like Greek stoicism — you meet and obstacle and you go, ‘you know what? The obstacle is an opportunity.’ It’s not something that is going to stop me,” Mitchell said. “I’m going to find a way to do this. And so we found a way, and we’re going to keep doing that.”

Mitchell said he plans on writing a children’s book about Chance, and said he wants to title it “The Little Dog that Walked Around the World, A Hero’s Tail.”

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