Hudsonville dog survives two days in the cold, found while family was on vacation

A Hudsonville dog went missing during frigid temperatures.

HUDSONVILLE, MICH. - A family in Hudsonsville is calling it a miracle after their dog survived two full days in subzero wind chills. 

"We're just utterly shocked and amazed," said Rachael Barnum.

The Barnum family adopted their miniature pinscher, Brooklyn, around Christmas last year. The Barnums left her with a neighbor on Tuesday, Dec. 26 before leaving for a 10-day vacation in Florida. 

Brooklyn is skittish, so leaving her with a friend was tough, Rachael Barnum said. 

"We decided to drive, [and] we'd never gone that far before," she said. "Within about five or six hours after we had left, she managed to get out of their front door in a flash. They couldn't get her to come back."

Brooklyn took off into the woods on Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m. The family called relatives and friends to look for the dog and initially decided not to come back. 

"We thought she would be found quickly, and we would just go on with our trip with our kids none the wiser."

By Wednesday, the Barnums cut their vacation short and drove back to Hudsonville to search for Brooklyn. 

"At night, the wind chills were well below zero, so we thought she'd be frozen to death somewhere if we did find her," said Ryan Barnum, Rachael's husband. "We thought that would be it. So basically [we came] back to say goodbye." 

After two full days, Lauri Schaaf, Rachael's mother, found Brooklyn 10 minutes from the home near Riverview Airport. 

"All of a sudden there's this little dog walking across the street, and it was her," Schaaf said. "I just got out of the car and opened the car doors, and she jumped in. She was safe."

Brooklyn looked a little thin, but didn't suffer any major injuries, Rachael said. 

"We really just feel incredibly blessed," she said. "People were driving around looking for this dog that didn't even know us. And then friends and family were looking around tirelessly. God answered our prayer."  

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