Jade and her owners
Photo by Facebook

Lost dog survives 42 days in Yellowstone National Park

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After spending 42 days lost in Yellowstone National Park, Jade, an 18-month-old Australian Shepherd, has made her way back to her owners.

Fox News reports that on July 23, David Sowers and Laura Gillice were driving in Yellowstone National Park when they were hit head on in their SUV by another vehicle. The two suffered serious injuries, but the most devastating part of the collision was losing their dog, Jade, in the process. Jade bolted from the car into the wilderness when a park ranger opened the door of the wreck.

Sowers told 9News that he “… was convinced she was gone, I thought she’d probably gone three or four miles deep into the woods.”

The couple posted signs in Yellowstone, created a “Help Find Jade” Facebook page, and set traps for Jade with dog food. The couple went back to Yellowstone from their home in Denver, Colorado to try and locate Jade, but were unsuccessful a number of times. Around 25 people joined in to help them look for Jade, even playing recordings of the dog’s owner calling her from their cellphones.

Sowers and Gillice admitted that they were worried about the likelihood of Jade’s survival in the park. Gillice told 9News, “The wolves were a concern, of course… and just the wildlife and the bears.”

But with reports of Jade roaming Yellowstone, the two refused to give up hope.

Gillice returned to the park with Jade’s playmate, Leila, also an Australian-Shepherd, walking her around the Canyon Village area and prompting her to bark in hopes that she might catch Jade’s attention if she was nearby.

Gillice told the Missoulian that “It was a beautiful morning with the fog in the meadow and another couple had stopped to take pictures and out of the corner of my eye I saw this black and white movement.” Noticing the couple had binoculars, Gillice asked the couple “Is that a deer or a dog?”

Their persistence had paid off. Gillice said she called to Jade “in puppy voices … She just came running to me, like ‘Where’ve you been mom?'”

Gillice took both dogs back to the hotel where her and Sowers had been staying (the two live in Denver).

Sowers told 9News that when he “saw Jade running in the front door…” he “just lost it … she just got up on me and I bawled and cried for a long time.”

Jade is, according to Sowers “skin and bones,” with a small cut on her lip, but is otherwise fine.  For seven weeks alone in the wild of the park, the outcome is pretty extraordinary.

As Gillice told the Missoulan, “It’s a miracle.”