The story of Milo, a lost springer spaniel in Michigan, came to a happy end this weekend 44 days after he went missing in the northern cold.
A dog had been heard barking for days when someone in Sand Lake called animal control officers at the Kent County Animal Shelter on Sunday, the rescue said in a Facebook post.
The caller had done some investigating and determined a dog may have been stuck in or around an old grain silo.
When officers arrived, they met with two “caring citizens” who had found the dog stranded 10 feet down inside the bunker-style silo. The smooth walls made it impossible for the pup to climb out.
The officers and the residents — one of whom used to be an animal control officer — hatched a plan to save the dog. They dropped a long rope into the silo then looped it around the pup and pulled him to safety, the shelter said.
Officers got in touch with Lost Paws, an animal recovery outfit, in an effort to find the dog’s owner.
Lost Paws discovered the pup looked an awful lot like one in a lost dog posting from a neighboring town — a post from 44 days earlier on Jan. 8.
The group contacted the owners who’d put up the posting and sure enough, the dog rescued from the silo was their pooch, Milo.
Milo had last been spotted in early February but hadn’t been seen for the two weeks before his rescue.
The shelter said the details of Milo’s journey will always remain a mystery, but the pup “survived frigid temps, snow storms, hunger and dehydration.”
Milo lost 33 pounds in the 44 days he was missing and traveled nearly 20 miles, according to the shelter.
But the team says Milo seemed to immediately remember his owners when they were reunited.
“Many tears were shed from everyone,” the shelter said, adding, “What he nor his owners never lost was hope. And hope is what finally reunited them.”
Sand Lake is roughly 25 miles north of Grand Rapids.