Monica Neward thought she'd never see her beloved little dog Zoey again. Zoey was snatched up by an eagle last Tuesday, Jan. 2, when she was let out into the fenced-in yard by Neward's brother Felipe Rodriguez, who was visiting from Chicago.
Rodriguez said he thought he was hallucinating when an eagle swooped down and snatched his sister's 8-pound Bichon Frise from the yard of his sister's home near the banks of the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania.
“It seemed like something from the 'Wizard of Oz',” he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I’m a city boy. This doesn’t happen in my world.”
He said Zoey was playing in the yard when he heard a loud screech and hurried to the door to look out.
“The bird was holding onto the dog. There was flapping of wings and then it was gone,” said Rodriguez.
He drove around the neighborhood looking for the 7-year-old dog, to no avail. He assumed that Zoey was gone for good.
His sister and her family were devastated when they found out.
“I did nothing but cry all day,” Newhard said.
They figured they'd never see her alive again, but perhaps they could find her body and bury her. So Hartman and her husband scoured the woods to no avail. Little did they know, four miles away, Christina Hartman, 51, was driving on a snow-covered back road when she spotted a furry white lump ahead and pulled over to investigate.
"I notice this little frozen dog, icicles hanging from all over. It could hardly move,” Hartman said.
She scooped up the pitiful pooch, wrapped her in a blanket and took her home. She fed the dog two bowls of chicken-and-rice soup.
Gradually, the little dog began to warm up and show some spunk. Hartman noticed the dog walked with a limp and had several small wounds on the back of her neck. She had no collar.
“This dog belongs to a family, and I’m gonna find out who owns it,” Hartman told herself.
On Wednesday morning she spotted Newhard's public Facebook post with a photo of Zoey and a plea for help finding her dog.
She excitedly called Newhard. “I said, ‘It’s a miracle! I have your dog!’”
Zoey suffered some bruises and had a few missing patches of fur, but is otherwise OK.
"We cried and we went there and we were hugging Christina. We were hugging Zoey," Newhard said. "Zoey was happy to see us. It was, oh my god, it was like a dream come true for us."
Rodriguez said he can’t believe Zoey survived.
“She is not really herself, but she is getting lots of love,” his sister, Newhard, texted the AP late Wednesday. “She doesn’t want to go out. ... I really can’t blame her.”
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.