Arts & Crafts Magazine

Zuzu My Christmas Miracle ~ A True Story

By Hsimoni @wildwyoartcafe

 Zuzu is home!!! I've had so many emails and facebook posts asking how we found here is the story - a little long, so grab your glass of wine...and maybe a box of kleenex.... and kick up your feet......

Zuzu in snow

Her story began on Sunday December 9th (2012) ~ Aaron and I have spent 2 1/2 hours searching for her after she left, following her tracks, calling her name. We were snowshoeing and looking for a Christmas tree and having so much fun.

Zuzu snowshoeing 1

Oh no.....we noticed she and Willow (our black lab puppy) were gone. Willow came right back, Zuzu did not. We drove down the mountain to get cell service and called the sheriff, police, animal control, ranger stations. It was cold - almost 20 below Zero with the windchill. Up the mountain again to search for her for another hour or more, it grew dark. We reluctantly went home and put the kids to bed. Made flyers, called everyone we could think of, posted on Facebook, sent emails, said prayers...couldn't sleep....knot in my gut.

Zuzu mountain road

I went back Monday searching all day, went back to the spot we last saw her...... Dumping snow all afternoon. (Probably a little dangerous for me to be up there by myself - but hey you don't know my Mom, Dad or my Grandpa Harry! lol). Getting dark, so I started back down the mountain. I talked with snowplow drivers, restaurant owners, loggers and even ran into a sheriff.  He actually went up in a snowstorm looking for her Sunday night in a blizzard in the dark - what an amazing man. (I noticed his truck said "Canine Unit")  Gave flyers to everyone we knew. Sent out more facebook posts and emails.  

Made a plan for tomorrow, stayed up late....can't sleep....stomach really hurts. Dreampt of her all night.

Zuzu and willow mtns jumping

Tuesday, Aaron and I went back up. He went to exact spot we lost her, trekked through the woods, called for her, marked some trees ;), he was up there for a few hours. I stayed in the low grounds looking all over, we met up and looked together, didn't find her. Today the deep sadness crept in......and wondering how she could survive the cold. We went home, sent out more emails and flyers. My girls cried themselves to sleep, heartbreaking. Decided we were going to tie some of our socks around rocks and leave a trail for her. Feeling so sad, trying not to lose hope. Happened to check Facebook - up to almost 300 shares on my post of our missing Zuzu, many people I don't even know. Oh my gosh, how can that be?...... Found some hope again.
Wednesday ~ Went to work today, the schedule changed, I didn't have any clients magically...... and my boss was an angel and said family is first, go do what you need to - who has a boss like that?........


Zuzu the exact spot

I drove up the mountain again, late afternoon today to the spot we started our snowshoeing.....I saw dog tracks in the fresh snow. They led into the campground we always go to and back to our snowshoe spot. I drove in further, had to put the truck in 4-wheeldrive, lots of deep snow, wondered if I might get stuck, didn't care. Got out, trekked around, marked a spot ;), called and called and called for Zuzu.

Kept looking at the tracks, got my phone out to take a photo of the tracks......the paw prints were 3 circles, close together, but really long, more like ovals.......... like Zuzu's..........caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye.....and there she was! Limping down the mountain road towards me!........... skinny, exhausted........I thought she was a ghost...... or a mirage.
I called her and she trotted up to me and we fell in the snow, her licking my face and pawing me. Tears and more tears. It was like a scene from the movies. I could not believe I had actually found her! What are the odds?! (who gives a shit about the odds's about going beyond the odds)
I can't remember the last time I cried so much.....Zuzu wanted to get to the truck...she jumped right in..... I gave her some food. She was sooo hungry. I drove like a mad woman down the mountain, let's just say waaayy over the speed limit. It was about 20 min before I had cell service. I called Aaron, he could hardly understand me. "You got her?!!" - yes I've got her!

Zuzu in truck on the way home

Stopped for food in Saratoga, then took her to the vet. She no longer had on her pink fleece coat on .............and had no fur and deep abrasions under her arms. I think her coat got caught and she fought to get out.

Zuzu is home

What a brave soul.  No major injuries.....She lost almost 10lbs total.  Here she is snuggled beside me on the couch a few hours after she was found.

Zuzu and ari frosted

I can't imagine all that she has been through in her 3 nights out in the cold in the mountains. She is an amazing animal full of fight, strength, determination, bravery, love and spirit. She never gave up and never stopped believing.
I am absolutely certain........... that all the Facebook shares, tweets, likes, comments, prayers, positive thoughts, healing energies and love from friends, family and complete strangers, helped my family and I have this Christmas Miracle.
I cannot truly put into words how utterly grateful and amazed I am by everyone's help and kindness. There is still so much goodness in the world and miracles to be seen. Don't lose your hope, keep believing, never give up.

Zuzu's petals

We rescued Zuzu from the animal shelter 3 years ago at Christmas. Every year we love to watch "It's a Wonderful Life", and so we named her Zuzu - after Zuzu's petals. As Ken said earlier - I think an Angel got it's wings tonight by bringing Zuzu home.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. ~ Holly

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