Savannah, first dog to walk around the world, has died — rest in peace

Savannah, first dog to walk around the world, has died — rest in peace

Many of us have had some great times walking our pets, but nothing can compare to the walk taken by Tom Turcich and his dog Savannah, who, over 7 years and 25,000 miles, traveled across the world together.

Their adventure together inspired many people and won hearts around the world, but sadly, Savannah passed away on Sunday.

Tom & Savannah

Tom Turcich, from New Jersey, made it his goal to walk around the world, after the sudden death of a childhood friend reminded him of how short and precious life really is.

“That death can come at any time – arbitrarily and instantly. It was like, with this knowledge, how do you live? What do you do? How do you integrate that fact into your life?” he recalled to The Guardian.

He first set out on his adventure in 2015, when he was 26, walking from his home in New Jersey all the way to Panama. But a few months into the journey, Tom realized he could use some companionship and stopped at an animal shelter in Texas.

It was there he met Savannah, a then-4-month-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and knew she was the one.

Since his journey involved a lot of camping outdoors, he was motivated to get a dog to guard his camp, he told The Spruce Pets. He recalled that it was “frustrating” in the first few weeks because training the puppy slowed down his trek, but quickly became a perfect walking partner.

“Eventually by the time I got to Mexico, she was doing the full 24 miles a day with ease and hasn’t looked back,” Tom told the outlet.

Tom later admitted that he “didn’t feel much towards” the dog initially, but their bond quickly grew very close.

‘I was hoping she would provide some protection, but after crossing Mexico together, which was a whirlwind for me and basically where Savannah grew up, I realized how much she meant to me,” he told Metro.

7 years walking around the world

Savannah loyally followed Tom across the globe. While it wasn’t always easy — the dog got a serious tick infection in Peru, faced off with aggressive street dogs and got sprayed by a skunk — she was a true trooper, and motivated Tom to keep going.

“Savannah’s been for me, in a certain way, this great teacher on stoicism,” he told The Spruce Pets. “She will walk the 24 miles per day without complaining, guaranteed, and so doing that beside her every day taught me to do the same thing. Do what you can in a day and keep your tail high throughout it, no matter what’s going on internally.”

Over the months and years, the two continued on their journey, and many people followed along on social media. Tom and Savannah traveled through 38 nations across 6 continents — even Antarctica (the only continent they never made it to was Australia, after lockdown restrictions dashed their plans.)

They traveled for 7 years, only taking two extended breaks: once when Tom was battling a bacterial infection, and again when pandemic travel restrictions forced them to wait in Azerbaijan.

In 2022, their journey finally came to an end: after walking across the US, they made it back home to New Jersey, where they were greeted by a cheering crowd.

Tom is the 10th person in history to have walked around the world — and Savannah is the first dog ever to pull of the impressive achievement.

Savannah — rest in peace

Sadly, nearly two years after their glob-trekking journey ended, Savannah has passed away.

“I didn’t know anything could hurt this much,” Tom, now 35, wrote on Instagram.

According to, Savannah had been battling a number of health issues including kidney problems. Despite every effort to save her, the decision was ultimately made to euthanize her.

Tom and Savannah had spent 3,183 days together and traveled 25,000 miles. He wrote that their time together was “the greatest adventure I will ever know.”

While Savannah is gone, she leaves behind an incredible story and legacy and will forever be remembered as the first dog to walk around the world. Her story has been the subject of an illustrated children’s book, Savannah’s World of Adventure: Crossing the Andes, and Tom will also tell their story in his upcoming memoir, due to be published later this year.

Rest in peace to Savannah, the first dog to walk around the world who inspired so many with her incredible journey 💔😢

Please share this story in memory of Savannah.

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