FAIRBANKS, Alaska » A blind dog who wandered away from her Ester, Alaska, home during a cold snap has been reunited with her owner.
The 11-year-old Labrador retriever named Madera ventured away from home on Feb. 6, when the temperature dipped to 40 degrees below zero.
Her owner, Ed Davis, said he didn’t expect to find her alive. "My best hope was to walk those trails and look for a track that might be hers," he said. "My best hope was to find a frozen dog."
A man riding a bike accompanied by a bell-wearing dog located Madera in the woods last week, about a half-mile from the Davis’ home, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. Madera let out a whine when she heard the dog’s bell.
Davis said his dog lost 14 pounds but was, overall, healthy.
The man who rescued her, Constantine Khrulev, asked for the $100 reward money to go to the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund. Davis was so impressed by the gesture that he increased the donation to $250.
Madera is completely blind because of an autoimmune disease.
This isn’t the only tale of a lost, blind dog to end happily in Fairbanks in recent years: A blind 8-year-old dog named Abby walked more than 10 miles in 2012 from her home in the Two River area before she was rescued.