independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Blind dog found after snow ordeal

A remarkable tale of animal survival emerges from the US after a family pet survived temperatures of minus 40C to make it back home

Blind and alone in Alaska winter temperatures that dipped 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius), a lost eight-year-old dog was not given much of a chance to make it home.

But after walking 10 miles to the edge of a local dog yard, Abby the brown-and-white mixed breed was found and returned to her owners, a family that includes two boys and one girl under the age of 10.

The dog that the family raised from an animal-shelter puppy went missing during a snowstorm on December 13, and the family never expected to see her again, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

"It's a miracle, there's no other words to describe it," said McKenzie Grapengeter, emotion choking her voice and tears coming to her eyes. "We never expected to have her to be returned safe and alive."

Veterinarian Mark May said he came across the dog while running his team on December 19, but did not stop to pick her up.

"It ran with us for about a mile on the way home before she fell off the pace, but I had a big dog team so I couldn't grab it," he said. "I said, 'boy I hope it finds somebody's house'."

The next day, the dog turned up at Mr May's house. "Everybody just assumed it was some kind of scaredy-cat, but there it was in front of the door in our dog lot and it was blind," Mr May said.

"It was sitting there, all the way from 14 mile on the winter trail down into this neighbourhood, I guess by just sniffing, so I picked it up and brought it in."

To Mr May's surprise, the dog had no signs of frostbite.

"No frozen ears, no frozen toes, she'll probably go back home and it'll (be) business as usual. She's no worse for wear but quite an adventure," he said.

Press Association

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