Dog survives 9 months through winter in the rugged Idaho mountains

Posted at 10:49 PM, Jul 10, 2017

When your pet goes missing for one sleepless night, it can feel like an eternity, now imagine 288 nights. That's exactly what happened to Darwin and Cindy Cameron when their dog Mo went missing. 

"There isn't a day that didn't go by that we didn't think about Mo, knowing she's up in the mountains and how she's doing," said Cindy Cameron. 

Mo's story began during a hunting trip in September when she managed to get loose from the family camper and disappeared.

"We pretty much searched night and day for the first four weeks," said Darwin.

A widely circulated Facebook post yielded sightings of Mo, but no one could catch her.

"She wasn't one to go to strangers so we knew that she just wouldn't get into a vehicle or go with someone," said Cindy.

Dawin and Cindy continued searching whenever they had any spare time, even going as far as sleeping under the truck in hopes of finding her. 

Often when they went in search of Mo, they would run into people also searching for her. They said over the course of 9 months, hundreds of people helped in the efforts to find Mo.

But as the days shortened and the chill of winter set in, hope started to fade. 

"I think we always held out hope but we also knew this was not a normal winter," explained Darwin.

"You know we had these storms and you'd just go out and look up at the sky and just say 'God just please watch over her'," said Cindy.

But as the brutal winter dragged on they knew there was a pretty good likelihood they were not going to see her again.

While the glimmer of hope for a safe return dwindled, they always knew 13-year-old Moe would fight to see them again.

"Mo wasn't going to give up and that we really had no choice we had to try to go find her cause we knew that she was trying to find us," said Darwin.

Then, a rancher found a dog collapsed on his property in mid-June and she was dropped off at a Chesapeake rescue. 

"She was in bad shape. She had ticks and fleas and she was skin and bones," said Cheri Glankler with the Rescue. She has seen Cindy and Marvin's Facebook post months earlier and thought that it might be Mo.

Once before Darwin and Cindy had been told their dog may have been found, but it turned out to be a false alarm so they were reluctant to get their hopes too high, but for them, any sign of hope was better than none at all.  

"When they arrived I saw a difference in her," said Glankler.

"We were 98 percent sure but she was 100 percent sure," said Darwin.

After 9 long months in the rugged Idaho wilderness, Mo was home.