Printed on: December 27, 2012

Lost blind dog finds way home

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -- Blind and alone in Alaska winter temperatures that dipped 40 degrees below zero, a lost 8-year-old Fairbanks dog wasn't given much of a chance to make it home.

But 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, a family that includes two boys and one girl younger than 10.

The dog that the family raised from an animal-shelter puppy went missing during a snowstorm Dec. 13, and the family never expected to see her again.

"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."

Musher and veterinarian Mark May said he came across the dog while running his team Dec. 19 but didn't 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 May's house.

"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," May said.

To his 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.