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Christmas miracle! Blind dog returned to family after surviving minus 40 degree Alaskan winter

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 26th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's the type of Christmas miracle that one only sees on movies and TV. A blind family dog, lost in the harsh Alaskan countryside is returned home safe and sound after the surrounding community pitches in. Such is the case of Abby and her family, who never expected to see her alive again.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Abby, in spite of being blind and being subjected to 40-minus degree weather managed to pull through for a wondrous family reunion. The eight-year-old Fairbanks former rescue dog wasn't given much of a chance to make it home.

After walking 10 miles to the edge of a local musher's dog yard, Abby the brown-and-white mixed breed was found and returned to her owners. Her family includes three boys less than 10 years of age. Chalk up another victory to social networking site Facebook.

Raised by the family from an animal-shelter while she was a puppy, Abby went missing during a snowstorm on December 13th.

Mobilized, the local community began sharing the dog's story and description through emails and Facebook posts.

"It's a miracle, there are no other words to describe it," McKenzie Grapengeter says. Emotions choked her voice and tears come to her eyes as she said, "We never expected to have her to be returned safe and alive."

Musher and veterinarian Mark May said he came across the dog while running his team on December 19th, but didn't stop to pick Abby 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,'" May told The Fairbanks Daily News Miner.
 
The next day, Abby turned up at 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," May said. "It was sitting there, all the way from 14 mile on the winter trail down into this neighborhood, I guess by just sniffing, so I picked it up and brought it in."

To May's surprise, the dog had no signs of frostbite. Other than being hungry and cold, May said he was amazed that she didn't have any signs of frostbite from Abby's week in the cold.

"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.

Since Abby wasn't tagged nor had a microchip, the community used social media to track down Abby's owners. "We're so, so grateful for all (the community's) hard work," McKenzie Grapengeter said. "They've given us the most amazing Christmas gift we could ever ask for."

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