For 10 grueling days, a family in Wales despaired that their loving dog was dead in the snow after she disappeared during a holiday hike.
Red, a 13-year-old border collie, has been a member of the Thompson clan since she was a puppy. Her hearing is starting to go, and her owners feared she wouldn't be found since couldn't hear searchers calling her name.
Caitlin Thompson, 21, told InsideEdition.com Monday that she and her family are still stunned Red was found safe and sound over the weekend. A couple out for a walk in the Preseli Mountain range in western Wales found the pup, and recognized her from missing fliers posted in the area that carried Red's furry face and the Thompsons' phone number.
"We were really worried," said the university student, who was home for the holidays when Red went missing. "There was a lot of snow on the ground and heavy rain and wind."
The thought of her being outside and on her own "was really upsetting," Thompson said.
Red had been plodding along with her family as they hiked through the mountain area, something the Thompsons and Red do often. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred on their trek until they looked down at one point and realized the dog was no longer with them.
Panicked, they searched high and low, but found no trace of their beloved pet. In the days that followed, they posted signs in parking lots and trail areas surrounding the mountains.
The family has no idea how Red was able to survive.
"She was wearing a high-visibility vest, which probably provided some protection from the wind, but other than that, she must have used her survival instincts to find an area where she was sheltered," Thompson said. "She wasn't too dehydrated when she was found so she must've had water."
She was severely underweight, however, and weak.
Caitlin's brother, Finn, said Red "is still struggling to walk, but we're feeding her very regularly and that's helping her out a lot."
On his Facebook page, Finn posted, "No words to describe how happy we are to see Red alive!!! Absolutely incredible dog. A massive thank you to everyone who came out helped us search for her, means the world to us."