When Terina Held’s 13-year-old black Labrador, Buck, went missing in the beginning of January, she thought the dog had just run away. After searches on foot and by car had turned up with nothing, the Held family said they felt that they would never see their beloved Buck again.
But when Held’s neighbor, Mark Smith, was hiking with his dog, Copper, in the Santa Cruz mountains, they stumbled upon an emaciated dog, according to PeoplePets.com. Knowing he had to help, Smith carried the dog back to civilization and noticed a missing dog poster.
It turned out that Buck had survived in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights and had lost 50 pounds. After being reunited with his family, Buck is reportedly back in good dog health. Held told the news provider that the fact he survived so long was an amazing feat.
"I don’t think a human could have lived in our woods for that period of time, especially given the storms we had," Held said. "But he’s back to his old self. I don’t want to let him out of my sight."