A lost Boise dog is back home after nine months and a brutal winter alone in the Idaho mountains. Mo, an elderly Chesapeake Bay retriever, wandered away from her owners during a hunting trip in September, the AP reports. Darwin and Cindy Cameron stayed near the tiny hamlet of Horseshoe Bend, about 30 miles north of Boise, for three months looking for Mo. But deep snow and harsh conditions eventually made the search impossible. Meanwhile, dog rescuer Cheri Glankler took in a starving retriever that had collapsed at a nearby ranch last month, the Idaho Statesman reports. Based on the dog's initial disheveled appearance, it was clear she'd been living on her own in the wild, Glankler says. She posted photos of the dog on Facebook, and word quickly reached the Camerons that Mo may have been found.
The Camerons were initially hesitant to see the dog after receiving so many previous false alarms. Mo had lost her hearing and half her body weight while surviving in the wild, and Glankler warned the couple she wouldn't be exactly as they remembered her. People generally "expect this kind of Disneyland response like you see sometimes in videos when veterans come home," she says. They "don't understand that [the dogs] have gone into survival mode." Despite Mo's subdued behavior, the Camerons recognized her through her mannerisms. Glankler became fond of the now 14-year-old dog during their brief time together and has nicknamed her "The Legend" in honor of all she survived. "Who saved Mo? Mo saved Mo," Glankler says. "Even here, when I would take her out on a lead, she was searching. She knew who she was looking for. She's incredible."