When a 13-year-old golden retriever had been missing for more than two months, her family thought that all hope was lost to find their dog. However, after 65 days alone, the elderly pup was found in a quarry in surprisingly good health and was returned for a happy reunion with her loving family.
Stella is the 13-year-old golden retriever who was lost for 65 days in the Alaska wilderness and battled to be able to see her family once again. Like so many other sad stories involving runaway dogs, this one begins during a firework display on the Fourth of July.
The loud cracks and booms of fireworks horrified Stella, who then darted away from her home and owners and thus began her journey alone in the wilderness. The Mahoskeys, Stella’s family, searched endlessly that night to try and find their old woman in the dark. With no luck, and given the harshness of Alaska’s wilderness, the family became intensely worried.
The next day, according to KTOO, reports of a bear attack on a dog reached the Mahoskeys and sent chills down their spines. Sarah Mahoskeys recounted the news, saying, “They said, Did you hear that there was a bear that attacked a dog last night? We had the windows open in the back of the house and my wife heard this altercation that sent chills up her spine. And basically, I don’t think your dog could be alive.”
As time went on, the Mahoskeys didn’t let themselves become discouraged and ended their search for Stella. They began walking along local hiking trails, searching for her, and investigating any possible sightings that neighbors reported.
Then, a family friend finally gave them a call, saying, “He said, do you have a golden retriever? And Jerome said, Well, we did have a golden retriever. And he says, Well, I think this is your golden retriever.”
After rushing to the rock quarry that the call came from, the family found Stella perched precariously on a cliff. Her golden coat blended in perfectly with the rock behind her, making it nearly impossible to see her from such a distance. Somehow, Stella was spotted.
How did Stella survive in the wilderness for so long? Sarah explained, “We think she probably hunkered down for quite a while, and just probably wasn’t able to move a lot and knew that it needed to heal. She obviously found a safe space, because the fact that she was bleeding and wasn’t found by that bear or another bear again is quite a miracle.”
When Stella was found, she was roughly half the body weight that she ran away at, so she is being pampered with steaks, eggs, and cheese. Sarah made sure to note that Stella came home with a much bigger appetite than she left with.
The only discernible injury seemed to be a gash on her side, which the Mahoskys deemed to most likely have come from a bear. Now that is one tough dog and an amazing story of resilience.
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