Dundee, N.Y. – The dog had been lost in a snowstorm for five days.
A Yates County man feared the worst for the dog that’s been part of his life for 17 years. But for a turkey call and an 11-year-old who knew how to use it, the story could have ended differently.
If Maggie could only speak, she would have quite a story to tell.
The day after Christmas she disappeared in a snowstorm.
"We went out looking for her but it was white-out conditions so it was hard,” said Maggie’s owner Mason Brown. “I looked the next two days but I kind of lost hope."
As the days stretched on, Dundee's radio station WFLR made a plea to listeners.
“It was tough once I started to lose hope and I didn't know where to look,” Brown said. “But I still felt like I had to be out there trying."
"It’s pretty sad to think that a dog's missing--because I like dogs," said family friend Austin Gibson.
Austin is a sixth grader who did not know it at the time, but he alone would be the one to help. "I was sitting on a snow bank practicing my turkey call when I saw something brown and I called my dad," he said.
At 17, the Lab/Springer mix walks and sees with difficulty. She hears even less. But at the sound of the call, she stood from where she had burrowed in--nearly a mile from her home.
"She was just standing there wagging her tail and looking at us,” Austin said. “I ripped my coat off and put it around her because she was shaking and she was really cold."
The reunion was made possible by the unique skills of an 11 year old, and the determination of a 17-year-old. And maybe a little something else.
"It's not like you can go out and call and she'll come,” Brown said. “She couldn't hear anybody even if they were near her. New Year’s Eve they found her. It was kind of a miracle."