8-pound dog survives 8 days lost in snow, ice

A Shih Tzu dog is pictured. (Hermes Images/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)

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A Shih Tzu dog is pictured. (Hermes Images/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)

An Oregon couple was overjoyed Wednesday when their 8-pound dog was found alive after spending more than a week lost in the brutal cold.

Carol Hellebuyck of Portland told KPTV that she and her husband, Bruce, had nearly given up on seeing Bailey, their 9-year-old Shih Tzu mix, alive again. Bailey vanished last week while Hellebuyck was out of the house.

The 8-pound dog, who rarely left Hellebuyck’s side, fled through the dog door on the back door of their home, apparently spooked by workers who were performing maintenance work on the house. Bailey got out of the back yard through a hole in the fence.

Hellebuyck said she knew something was wrong as soon as she returned home.

"The dogs greet me at the door, and there were only two, not three, dogs," she told KPTV.

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Hellebuyck told the news station that she and her husband spent hours each day going door to door and distributing fliers in hopes of finding Bailey. At the time, their area of Portland was under a foot of snow.

When neighbors, their vet and the local humane society could provide no word on Bailey, the couple tried one last thing, KPTV reported. They contacted a search-and-rescue group run by Harry Oakes, who drove about an hour to the Hellebuycks' neighborhood with his two border collies.

The herding dogs, who were given a sniff of a sweater belonging to Bailey, found the shivering Shih Tzu within 30 minutes, Hellebuyck said. She was holed up in a wooded area about a mile from home.

"She was wet down to the core and shivering," Hellebuyck told the news station.

After some food and warmth, Bailey got a clean bill of health from the vet. Hellebuyck said she and her husband wonder how the tiny dog managed to survive for so long. They believe that she might have found a garage or other shelter during her time away from home.

“This is when you really just wish they could talk,” Hellebuyck said.

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