Skittish Senior Dog Named Old Lady Survives 17 Days in the Brutal Minnesota Cold

The dog was saved from a puppy mill situation by Ruff Start Rescue

Photo: Ruff Start Rescue/Facebook

Old Lady is too old to be dealing with weather in the negatives, but somehow the 10-year-old St. Bernard persevered for more than two weeks.

The dog’s journey in the wild, wicked weather of Minnesota started nearly three weeks ago, according to Ruff Start Rescue.

The non-profit posted on Facebook that the skittish Saint Bernard, who was rescued from a puppy mill situation, escaped her foster home on Jan. 4. and darted out into the snow and woods of Princeton, Minnesota. For 17 days, Ruff Start Rescue staff and the dog’s foster family did everything possible to try to locate and secure Old Lady, who is described as “one strong and quick dog, especially for her senior age.”

“We have had search parties, signs, phone calls, and so many people out looking for this poor girl,” the rescue wrote on Facebook.

After two weeks of unsuccessful searching, the rescue party began to worry. They only had a few sightings of the dog, and nothing new for days. Plus, the temperatures were continuing to drop, making it increasingly more dangerous for a pet caught outside.

But against these odds, on Jan. 21, day 17 of the search, Old Lady was found. The Saint Bernard was discovered stuck, with her leash caught in a tangle of trees. Aware that Old Lady scared easily, the rescue approached the dog slowly and carefully, methodically working to slip a new lead on the dog and cut the leash that was caught in the trees.

With help from a group called The Retrievers and the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, Ruff Start Rescue was able to free Old Lady and bring her to the shelter.

“Her drive, her fight-or-flight response kicked in and she was able to stay alive through those frigid temps,” Azure Davis, the founder and executive director at Ruff Start Rescue, told FOX 9 on how she thinks Old Lady made it through this trying ordeal.

Back at the rescue, after so many days in the elements, the malnourished, thirsty and frostbitten dog weighed in at less than 90 lbs.

Still, Old Lady hasn’t let this keep her from enjoying her golden years. After a few days of recovery, the canine was on her paws, “making her rounds” around the rescue.

Ruff Start Rescue/Facebook

On Jan. 23, Old Lady set off to her new home through the rescue’s “foster to adopt” program. According to FOX 9, Old Lady’s new mom has experience with fearful dogs, and her gentle touch already seems to be working.

“And just like that, Old Lady is off to her forever home! (She will do “foster to adopt” until healthy),” the rescue wrote on Facebook with a photo of the dog with her new owner. “This is the first kiss she has given. It was love at first sight for both of them.”

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