When the Silver family went out to remove piles of snow from their Bryant Pond, Maine, home nearly a week ago, their family dog joined them. While the family shoveled, Sophie ambled around them. But when they had finished the task, she was gone.
"We are missing our 13-year-old yellow lab named Sophie," Albert Silver wrote on Facebook. "She went out with all of us last night just before 5pm while we were plowing and shoveling, and she wandered off and hasn’t come back. Please share..."
For days, the family searched along with friends and neighbors. Silver's post was shared nearly 2,500 times. Strangers joined in the search for the family pet, and people from across the country followed along online as Silver posted updates.
Two days into the search, a dejected Silver posted thanks to people for helping and explained that they had tracked down Sophie's path the night she disappeared.
"Thursday before supper we all went out to shovel and plow. Sophie loves to be a part of this. She followed us next door to her aunt's house when we plowed there. Afterward she went to a neighbor’s house that she visits often and then he sent her home. She was last seen leaving his house. Sophie has made this neighborhood her own and had many people she visited, even had her own normal paths to take to get to each place. Everyone around here knows her well and was nice to her."
Silver wrote that they had checked all her normal "routes," including checking in with neighbors, and there was no sign of her so far.
"We have had intense winds every day since then and it’s made finding her very difficult. As we mentioned, she’s 13 years old and lately her age has been catching up with her. She has very weak hips and no power in her back legs, so we believe that she didn’t go on any major excursion. We will just have to hope that eventually we will find her. So thanks everyone, and we will let you know when we do."
A head in the snow
The family was losing hope that they'd ever find their beloved pet. But then someone spotted her head peeking out of the snow, buried in a snowbank just down the road from her home. It took a tractor and a plow to clear a path, but Sophie was rescued after five days in the cold, wind and snow. She was rushed to the vet, where bloodwork and X-rays showed she was relatively healthy; she had lost five pounds, but she didn't have frostbite or any other serious problems.
Silver posted photos of Sophie in the car and back at home with a happy, grateful update.
"EXCITING UPDATE!! Yup it’s a miracle. Sophie has been found alive and well," Silver posted. "This is truly a miracle and our prayers were definitely answered. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of the Facebook people who shared and commented and cared, to all of the people who prayed for her, to all of the people who took time out of their days to be thinking of us."