A 15-year-old chocolate Labrador has been reunited with her family after being missing in the wild for more than 6 weeks!
On October 5, Kathy Anderson, her son Jake, and their Labrador Maddi went on a hunting trip in Duchesne County when the dog disappeared.
“We searched for days, we put fliers in every gas station and restaurant that we could,” Anderson told FOX 13. “I had a list of veterinarians and shelters from Roosevelt to Heber that I called weekly.”
It was devastating. After weeks of searching, Anderson had lost all hope that she would ever hug the Labrador ever again. Eventually, she and her family decided it was time to move on.
“It’s the unknown that plays with your mind you know, you assume the worst,” Anderson said.
“I was just driving myself crazy so I just had to let it go and know that hopefully she is in a better place,” she adds.
But it was much tougher for 13-year-old Jake.
“Heartbroken, just howls and cries and paces, it was almost as sad to see him going through what he was going through as it was to lose Maddi,” Anderson said.
Then on Nov. 27, a family friend saw a post on Facebook with a picture of a lost dog discovered in a backyard in Ioka.
“I knew it was Maddi, there was no question in my mind, I would recognize that little face anywhere,” Anderson said.
The Lab had somehow hiked about 65 miles across Duchesne County, from the Pariette Wetlands to the small town of Ioka. Maddi amazingly managed to survive without food or water, in freezing temperatures and the threat of being attacked by coyotes.
“In my mind I was thinking what has she been through, how awful all the things that have happened to her,” Anderson said.
Maddi stumbled into a yard owned by Clint and Gail Crowley. The kind couple cared for the worn-out Labrador for about a week before their Facebook post was answered.
“Sweet people and just appreciate them and love them for their kindness,” Anderson said.
Now, Maddi is back where she belongs – in the company of her family.
“It is truly a miracle that she is in the backyard where she belongs and I think we are still not hardly believing it,” said Kathy Anderson.
Maddi lost about 25 pounds during the ordeal but her emotional state is the most frail.
“She is very traumatized, and very shy and skittish, which is not her nature but she is coming around,” Anderson said. “There really is no way she could have survived all that she survived.”
Anderson hopes Maddi’s story will inspire others to never lose hope.