The girl had been playing with the stray dog when the blizzard hit, and she was not able to find her way back home.
A 10-year-old girl miraculously survived a blizzard, thanks to a street dog. Vika Z, who hails from Sakhalin, Russia, always loved playing with street dogs and had to turn to one for help as the temperatures dipped to -11 degrees Celsius. Vika Z got lost during an intense blizzard, and couldn't find her way back home. She was left with the prospect of spending the night in freezing temperatures. She regularly fed the stray dogs and played with them. She ended up hugging one of her fluffy friends and survived 18 hours in the extreme cold weather. The stray dog stayed by her side the whole time, keeping the little girl warm as it bore the brunt of the blizzard, reported Mirror. Locals are hailing her survival as a miracle. Vika had left school at 1 pm and was found the next morning at 8:45 am. Nearly 40 people spent 12 hours looking for the girl in freezing temperatures.
She was on her way home from school when she got lost due to the blizzard. The snow grew two feet deep and in some parts, it even blocked the first floors of buildings. Vika's family feared for her life but never stopped searching for her. Members of the local community joined in to search for her, braving the blizzard themselves. The search party could hardly see anything through the falling snow but soldiered on to find Vika in time. They walked the streets and shouted her name, hoping for a response. As time passed, they feared the worst because these temperatures were too harsh for an adult to survive, let alone a 10-year-old girl.
They asked around if anyone had seen her. One person mentioned that they had seen a little girl play with a stray dog near an apartment building earlier in the day. This tip led them to Vika, nearly half a mile away from her home. When they found her, she was hugging a fluffy stray dog, who was keeping her warm during the blizzard. The pair was seen lying on a mattress under a balcony, which animal lovers had left for the strays. The shelter provided by the balcony helped protect the girl and the dog from the snow. "She was hiding under a balcony with the dog," said Olesya Voznyuk, an official with the Investigative Committee. "The girl loves animals very much, she used to play with local dogs all the time. She went to feed these dogs after school and then got caught in the snowstorm and strong winds," said Voznyuk.
Once the girl was rescued, the stray dog walked away like it knew it had played its part in saving her. “The fact that the girl remained alive in such weather really is a miracle,” said search party volunteer Anatoly Ivanov, who added that even they were struggling in the blizzard. “We were looking all night, nothing was visible at all, our hands in mittens were so cold, it was difficult to straighten our fingers.”
The girl had suffered some frostbite and was rushed to the hospital but the doctors confirmed that the girl was doing well and there was no immediate danger to her life. The 10-year-old was reunited with her mom, Tatyana, at the hospital and returned home the very next day. The family had a stray dog to thank for their daughter's life. They want to honor the stray dog and help it but they haven't been able to track the dog yet, given that it left the scene almost immediately. The family and the community intend to honor the stray dog when they find it.