DULUTH - After surviving more than 11 days outside in the bitter cold, a bulldog lost during the Christmas Eve blizzard was found alive Monday morning.
Ham, a year-old bulldog belonging to Kevin and Meegan Holubar, was found whimpering on the front steps of a house about 6:30 a.m. today.
"All things considered for being out in the cold and in the elements for 11½ days, it's pretty much a miracle," Kevin Holubar said.
The Twin Cities couple lost their dog, who was the ring-bearer in their wedding this summer, while visiting family in Duluth for the holidays.
Kevin Holubar took Ham out for a bathroom break Christmas Eve and lost the dog in the snow storm. When he tried to run after him, he was hit by a car and twisted his ankle and bruised his leg. Despite his injuries, Kevin, Meegan and their family and friends kept up the search for Ham. They spent all weekend looking for the dog and were out again this past weekend.
"We never gave up hope," Holubar said, "but we obviously got a little worried when the temperatures got so cold."
The regularly 80-pound dog was found 30 pounds lighter Monday morning. The inside of his right hind leg was frostbit, as well as part of his face.
"There wasn't any frostbite on his ears, though, so wherever he was he was at least hunkering down and surviving," Kevin Holuber said. "All things considered, we feel very, very lucky."
The couple plans to take Ham to the vet today for a more complete checkup.
Sarah Horner is a reporter at the Duluth News Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.