Salty, a 7-year-old English Springer Spaniel, has been the loyal companion to Minnesota resident Roger Jacobs for as many years. So, you can imagine how heartbroken Jacobs was when a week before Christmas of 2021, Salty slipped through a gate accidentally left open.
Salty is a skilled bird dog and close with her dad, so he never expected her to stray too far from the property. Still, after panicking and searching the area, Jacobs started to dismay.
As he told Q2:
“I got on my whistle right away and started to blow my whistle when she didn’t come, I knew she was gone.”
Searching For Days
Rogers enlisted some help from his friends and daughter to search for Salty. They also did their due diligence in posting about her everywhere. Still, six days went by, and no luck.
“We searched for days, put everything out on the internet, drove day and night looking… I thought, it was a really good shot that I didn’t ever get her back.”
Without food or shelter in the cold winter, Salty could be in trouble. Then, on the seventh day, a friend contacted Jacobs’ daughter, Becky, telling her he saw Salty near the river.
One endless week after she disappeared, Salty finally turned up near the Yellowstone River Bridge.
A Warm Reunion Thaws A Chilly Pup
Filmed from across the riverbank, Becky recorded the moment Salty and her dad spotted each other. The video of the two approaching each other, relieved and overjoyed, was posted to Facebook and has since gone viral.
Rogers described the moment he saw his beloved dog again:
“Finally, she heard me and she came running towards me. And I’ve been blowing my whistle so hard and walking through snow and I was all gassed and she was gassed and cold.”
Even from a distance, you can still clearly see Salty’s tail wagging like crazy as she leaps into dad’s arms. Talk about an amazing Christmas gift!
You can view the entire reunion video on Facebook.
Salty The Survivor
Incredibly, after a few days out in the cold on her own, Salty is still in good health aside from some minor issues and weight loss. The reunion video caption states:
“Feet are cold, one good gash on her leg and a little skinny but otherwise healthy and happy as can be!”
In December, temperatures in Shepherd, Montana, can get into the teens overnight. The week Salty disappeared, one night even dipped below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Jacobs guesses the resourceful dog found a haystack to burrow into in the evening when it got cold.
“That’s Mother Nature… Foxes, coyotes, all kinds of animals live out in the cold 24/7 and survive without any problem, so they’re built to do it.”
Though she’s got the chops to hack it in the wilderness, Salty thankfully won’t have to do that again.