Madera wandered out of her backyard and into the Alaskan wilderness

By Kelli Bender
March 03, 2015 11:10 PM

A blind Labrador retriever is back in the loving arms of her owner after spending two weeks lost in the cold.

Madera is completely blind from an autoimmune disease, but the canine has adapted to her disability, reports the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. That’s why her owner, Ed Davis, was shocked to learn Madera had wandered away from their Ester, Alaska, home and into the wilderness.

The 11-year-old dog was relieving herself outside in the 40-below weather and decided to set out for an adventure.

Davis was away for work when his beloved pet disappeared, leaving his wife to search for the dog. Two weeks later, when Davis returned home, there was still no sign of Madera. Not expecting much, Davis tried looking for the dog himself.

“My best hope was to walk those trails and look for a track that might be hers,” he told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “My best hope was to find a frozen dog.”

Davis received much better. Shortly after Davis’s return, his neighbor, Constantine Khrulev, was out for a bike ride with his dog, who was wearing a bell. When Khrulev cycled down the trails near Davis’s land, he heard a distant whining sound. It was Madera, lost 100 yards away from the trail, responding to the bell attached to Khrulev’s dog.

Using his dog’s bell, the neighbor was able to follow Madera’s whining and find the confused pet in the snow, roughly half a mile from her home.

Shortly after the astounding discovery, Davis and his dog were reunited. While Madera lost 14 pounds during her time outside, veterinarians say the pooch is in remarkably good health for what she went through and should make a full recovery.

After returning Madera to Davis, Khrulev asked for a $100 reward to donate to a local animal shelter. Davis was so impressed by his neighbor’s kindness he gave Khrulev $250 to donate to the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund for his good deed.