Fairbanks, AK — It’s a Christmas tale to warm the stoniest of hearts: a blind dog finds its owners after spending hours trekking through temperatures that hit 40 degrees below zero.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports how an eight-year-old blind dog from Fairbanks, Alaska walked ten miles through harsh winter conditions to return to her owners, a family that includes three very relieved and happy kids.
Abby, a brown-and-white mixed breed, first went missing during a snowstorm on December 13. Her family, who had raised her from being an animal-shelter puppy, had not expected to see their blind pet again.
However, when Abby showed up at the edge of a local musher’s dog yard, she was promptly returned to her owners as the best possible Christmas gift. Tearful mother McKenzie Grapengeter told the Fairbank Daily News-Miner:
“It’s a miracle, there’s no other words to describe it. We never expected to have her to be returned safe and alive.”
The dog was discovered by musher and veterinarian Mark May, who says he first spotted the dog while running his own team on December 19:
“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. I said, ‘boy I hope it finds somebody’s house.’ “
To May’s surprise, Abby made an appearance at his house the very next day:
“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. It was sitting there, all the way from 14 miles on the winter trail down into this neighborhood, I guess by just sniffing, so I picked it up and brought it in.
“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.”
According to the News-Miner, the search for the dog’s owners was conducted by the local community, who used social media to find the Grapengeter family. McKenzie Grapengeter said:
“We’re so, so grateful for all (the community’s) hard work. They’ve given us the most amazing Christmas gift we could ever ask for.”