When Shane Adams was out camping in Utah eight years ago, he had no idea that the trip would result in his beloved horse following the call of the wild. It was a frosty spring morning in the West Desert when a herd of wild horses passed by. Adams’ horse, Mongo, was tied up outside the tent — but as soon as Mongo heard his wild cousins, he started trying to break free, KUTV reported. Realizing what was happening, a half-dressed Adams got out of his tent as quickly as possible, but he was too late. Mongo had gotten loose and was running with the herd. For three years, Adams continued the search for the horse he referred to as a “big goofy head.” Every weekend was spent traveling back to the West Desert from his home in northern Utah, exhausting every trick in the book to try to lure his wayward horse home. “I ran after him, and I tried driving, but I really couldn’t get anywhere because of the snow,” he told The Washington Post. “Then I went back every weekend for three years to see if he was there. I reported him missing and tried every person I could to find him. But I never saw Mongo again.” [firefly_embed] [/firefly_embed] His family moved on, though Mongo featured in their songs and memories. A new horse joined the Adams family, but Adams couldn’t bring himself to get rid of Mongo’s custom halter, according to KUTV. And it was a good thing he held onto it because despite the years of not knowing where Mongo was, in late September of this year, he turned up again. The Bureau of Land Management was rounding up some wild horses in Tooele County during the last weekend in September, but one of the horses stood out. Unlike the others, this particular horse sported a brand and behaved differently, suggesting that it had been trained at some point in the past. [firefly_embed] [/firefly_embed] The BLM connected the dots, realizing it might be the horse Adams had lost and told them about all those years ago. It turned out to be Mongo after all — several hundred pounds lighter after scrounging for food for the past eight years, and now a respectable 18 years old. But despite his time in the wild, Mongo acted just as domesticated as he always had. “It’s crazy he still acts the same, he still acts like he’s the same horse,” Adams told KUTV. “Eight years of being wild, and he acts like nothing ever happened.” “There’s not a lot of food out there with this drought, and the horses look like walking death because they’re so skinny,” he added to the Post. “I get why Mongo ran off — horses are tribal animals and will follow each other. But I’m happy we can take care of him now and make sure he eats enough food. “He was his calm, mellow and normal self — like he had never left at all. But I was overjoyed. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream come true.” Mongo may have acted like nothing had changed, but the years hadn’t been quite so kind to Adams, who’d suffered a life-altering accident the year before. He was left permanently handicapped. Doctors told him that he wouldn’t be able work (he’d been in construction) or ride again anytime soon, but Adams was determined. While he’s not as skilled on horseback as he used to be, he’s working on reclaiming his seat. “They said it’ll be probably like five years before I could think of getting on a horse,” he said. “But I’ve already proved them wrong on that.” And while he has a long way to go, his “big goofy head” prodigal son of a horse has given him a little more hope that things are looking up and the impossible might not be so impossible after all. “Now I’m a firm believer that you have to look past your trials and trust that things are going to get better,” Adams said. “Everything happens, but you’ve got to keep your chin up. I mean, a month ago I would’ve never imagined Mongo would be back.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.