Utah family grateful after police, community help find lost service dogs in snowstorm
OGDEN, Utah — For Marian Phoenix and their four children, their four-legged fur babies are family. They’ve got five cats and two dogs — both service dogs — named Journey and Zero.
Zero, a yellow lab, means the world to Phoenix’s youngest, 13-year-old Melody Holland.
“I love him with all my heart,” they said. “Basically, he’s part of the family and he’s the best.”
On Saturday, Zero and Journey escaped out the front door of the family’s Ogden home after someone came by the house.
“We were both walking out to the person and these two just bolted,” Phoenix explained. “We just blinked and they were gone.”
After trying to chase them down the street, the dogs disappeared. The family got in their car and started driving around the area.
Three hours of frantic searching later, they couldn’t find any sign of the dogs.
“There’s a blizzard. This whole time there’s a blizzard,” Phoenix explained. “It’s really scary. We’re up and down the mountain hill.”
Phoenix got a call that some people found Journey. They explained that they had to follow him for a couple of blocks before being able to capture him. He ended up wandering three miles from home, near the bast of the mountains.
Zero was still nowhere to be found.
A little while later, Phoenix got another call, and this one came from Ogden police. They told the family someone reported a dog howling and barking loudly in the blizzard near the Waterfall Canyon parking lot, five miles from their home.
An animal control officer hiked the trail in the snowstorm and found Zero.
“I butted in like, ‘Is he OK?! Is he OK?!” Melody said.
They found out Zero was fine and the officer took him to the shelter, where Phoenix and their children could reunite with him.
“We were like yelling in a sort of way. We were just like, ‘Oh my goodness’ sake, he’s OK!'” Melody recounted. “We were literally bursting out with joy.”
On Monday, when the shelter reopened, they went over and pick
ed up Zero. Phoenix said the shelter even waived most of the fees to get the dog back.
“We know, he probably would have not survived without those people’s help,” Melody said.
Phoenix and the kids all expressed how they were grateful for the people who tracked and captured Journey, for the people who called Ogden police hearing Zero yelping in the cold, and for the animal control officer for hiking in the snow to find Zero and rescue him.
“We really would just like to say thank you all for your help,” Melody said. “We’re just so happy that he’s home.”
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