Rescued Dog Survives for Weeks in the Wild

Updated: February 18, 2019 06:13 PM

Lorene Faus loves dogs. She has her own, a Cairn terrier named Sophie. But another dog captured her heart back in January. "I was looking at Facebook, on the Missing Pets in the Northland page, and saw that Eleanor was laying on the railroad tracks, and needed help," Faus said.

She rushed right out and met Melissa Gaylord, a neighbor who first spotted Eleanor in their neighborhood up the shore. The two women made it their mission to find this chocolate lab. They first thought the dog was a boy, and had been calling him Elliott. But when they found out she was a girl, her name became Eleanor.

They looked and looked. "For five weeks, she was traveling all over the North Shore," Faus recalled. 

The women had help from the volunteer group, The Retrievers, plus people who'd post sightings of Eleanor here or there. During the polar vortex weather, they were especially worried. "She was literally running along the North Shore, in -24 weather, and that didn't include the wind chill," Faus said. 

Jennifer Cadigan from The Retrievers gave them a camera to use, so they could try and track her movements. The break in the case came 10 days ago, on February 8th, when they spotted her eating at a frozen compost pile.

"We put some dog food out on it, and she ate it! And then she kept coming back!" Faus added. Finally, on Saturday, the exciting rescue.

"Jennifer brought the kennel and set it up over here. She went to Super One and bought a rotisserie chicken, because who doesn't like rotisserie chicken," Faus said. 

They weren't sure if Eleanor would go into the kennel to eat it. But she walked right in! 

Animal Allies came and picked her up. "It was an emotional thing," Faus said. "I became so attached to her. Along with Melissa and Jennifer, working together for those five weeks. I'd wake up every morning and think about her."

Faus says she can't wait to see Eleanor again, which she hopes to do once the dog is done going through a recovery process.

"This dog was amazing. She was living in that Duluth, Minnesota weather. I'm so thrilled she's cozy and warm and safe now."

The Retrievers are a volunteer group. If you'd like to help them:

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