Poodle found after surviving six days in snow storm

HERSEY — A 6-pound pink toy poodle may not seem very well equipped to survive in the woods during a Michigan winter. But, Cami defied the odds and managed on her own for six days following a recent snow storm.

The dog, owned by Bobbi and Rob Estes, wandered off from their home on Old Logging Road in Hersey during a storm on Feb. 20. The 1-year-old poodle probably got disoriented in the snow and couldn’t find her way home, said Bobbi Estes.

Her owners spent several hours that night searching for Cami, and the neighbors joined in on foot and driving cars and 4-wheelers in search of the dog.

The search continued for the next six days without any sign of Cami. Estes, owner of Snip n’ Clip pet grooming in Reed City, increased her efforts every day.

She and her co-workers handed out fliers with pictures of Cami to all the neighbors. She put an ad in the newspaper and called all the area veterinarians and groomers in case anyone had seen Cami.

“Everyone told me to keep my hopes up,” Estes said. “I didn’t think she was in the woods at that point. I didn’t think she could survive.”

Finally, on Feb. 26, a neighbor spotted Cami while she was out walking. The dog ran off into the woods though.

Mandy Serio, Estes’ friend and co-worker, went to the spot where Cami was last seen and tracked her for two hours and five miles into the woods.

“I told (Mandy) thank you for being so stubborn. If she’d given up, we wouldn’t have found her,” Estes said.

Cami had dug into a hunting shanty for shelter, which is where Serio found her. There were pawprints to a nearby stream that showed how Cami had been surviving.

Cami was covered in snow, and most of the pink dye from her fur had worn off. Her paws were raw and she had lost a lot of weight, but the veterinarian said she should have a full recovery.

“It was definitely worth the effort. Not knowing (for six days) was the hardest part,” Estes said. “Having everybody come together and help is what got her back.”