It’s true – HelloGiggles loves dogs. Sometimes a little too much. So when there’s an amazingly brave and heroic family pet like Abby who does something awesome against all odds, we have to talk about it! But first, maybe grab your tissues.

It doesn’t get more captivating than miracle dogs, and Abby is just that. She’s a blind, 8-year-old family dog in Alaska who was rescued by the Grapengeter family from an animal shelter as a puppy. Abby went missing earlier in December during an awful snow storm and -40 degree temperatures. Stay with me! This story has a warm and fuzzy ending: she was found on a trail 10 miles from home, and returned just in time for Christmas Eve.

Now, I’m cold when it’s 40 degrees out, so I can’t imagine a -40 degree winter in Alaska. What’s mindblowing is that after a week in those awful conditions, Abby didn’t have frostbite. No frostbite! She wandered around Alaska for a week in a snow storm and didn’t freeze. Talk about a true Christmas miracle.

Abby didn’t have a tag or microchip, but luckily, word spread quickly through the magic of the Internet. Fellow dog owners, if your pets aren’t chipped and you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, get your furry friend some identification in 2013!

Dogs aren’t just pets, they’re part of the family. And as a dog owner, this story hit me hard. I can’t imagine my dog lost for a week in the cold like that. The Grapengeter family even began to lose hope after a week – how can you not? – but Abby was returned safe and sound, just a little hungrier than usual. And again, what would we do without the internet? Abby’s story was shared on Facebook until she was recognized.

It’s great to begin 2013 with a touching story and display of kindness from others. Happy New Year!

Image via Newsday