Completely blind dog returned to owner after 2 weeks in frigid weather

A blind dog who wandered from its Alaska home during one of the coldest weeks of February was returned to its owner.

Madera, an 11-year-old Labrador retriever, ventured away from Feb. 6 when the temperatures dipped to 40 degrees below zero. Madera usually returns inside after relieving herself outside, but did not return on this particular day, the owner Ed Davis told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

"My best hope was to walk those trails and look for a track that might be hers," he said. "My best hope was to find a frozen dog."

A man riding a bike found Madera in the woods last week, a half-mile from Davis’ house. Madera let out a whine when she heard a bell the cyclist rang.

The man who rescued her, Constantine Khrulev, asked for the $100 reward money to go to the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund. Davis was so impressed by the gesture that he increased the donation to $250.

Davis said the dog lost 14 pounds, but was healthy. The dog is completely blind because of an autoimmune disease.

This isn't the only tale of a lost, blind dog to end happily in Fairbanks in recent years: A blind 8-year-old dog named Abby walked more than 10 miles in 2012 from her home in the Two River area before she was rescued.

The Associated Press contributed to this report