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When 72-year old grandmother, Ann Rodgers, and her dog, Queenie, left Tucson on their way to visit family in Phoenix, she became lost on a remote stretch of road near Canyon Creek on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. Rodgers soon ran out of gas and eventually lost the charge in her hybrid car.
Thanks to quick thinking, a few survival skill courses she’d taken in the past, and with the help of her dog, the pair survived 9 days in the harsh Arizona wilderness.
“I waited until sun up the next morning hoping a truck or car, anybody, anything would go by, even a steer! I didn’t care, anything alive,” Rodgers told CBS News.
But Rodgers saw no one for 9 days.
Rodgers and Queenie drank water from ponds and ate desert plants and berries to survive.
“I was eating desert plants. My dog was too, diving into clover and finding all the places that were the easiest path for me to take. She was my pathfinder on that journey,” Rodgers said.
Help finally arrived on day 9, when a tribal Game and Fish officer found Queenie walking out of the Canyon Creek area. By helicopter, rescuers spotted a “HELP!” sign spelled out in the sand with rocks and sticks near where the dog had been spotted.
Miraculously, after more than a week without food or water, in the harsh Arizona desert, Rodgers and Queenie were rescued. Although a little dehydrated and suffering from exposure, the pair were in relatively good health and are doing just fine today.