Blind dog found after days of Alaskan cold

Dec. 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM

FAIRBANKS, Alaska, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A blind dog who wandered from home in Fairbanks, Alaska, was reunited with her family just in time for Christmas after being found 10 miles away.

Abby spent several nights of bone-chilling cold in the open, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. She vanished Dec. 13 at a time of heavy snow.

The dog was spotted Dec. 19 by Dr. Mark May, a veterinarian and dog-sledding enthusiast.

"This poor little dog had no coat and it had melted a hole about 10 or 8 inches deep," he said. "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."

The next day, May found Abby on the edge of his dog lot, cold and hungry but with no signs of frostbite.

Tracking Abby's owners took several days. But on Sunday, McKenzie Grapengeter, who had given up hope Abby survived, got a telephone call.

"It's a miracle, there's no other words to describe it," she told the News-Miner. "We never expected to have her to be returned safe and alive. She's blind. It's a miracle. It's amazing."

The Grapengeters, who have two children, adopted Abby from a shelter as a puppy. A few years ago, the dog began walking into furniture, and they realized she had a vision problem.

May believes Abby was able to sniff her way to his house, following the trail of scent laid down by his dog team.

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