BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - One dog owner in Cullman is calling her pooch a "Christmas miracle" after the dog survived being hit by a car and lost in the woods for four days in some of the coldest weather of the year.
Rhonda Bracero considers her three-year-old boxer "Remedy" as one of her own children. She was distraught to discover Remedy was missing last Monday, Dec. 13.
"I am so so so attached to her. And just the thought that she wasn't gonna be with me anymore, it was breaking my heart," Bracero said.
Four days passed as Bracero searched the nearby woods with her roommate and their other dogs.
"By Wednesday and Thursday, honestly we were about to give up, thinking we weren't gonna see her," Bracero said.
But in the early Friday morning hours, Bracero's other dogs let their owner know they still wanted to search for their sister Remedy, even at 4 a.m.
"Usually they don't go at that time, but as soon as we opened the door, they took off across the road. We finally got them to come back, but we got to thinking they must have found her over there because of the way the one had acted the night before. So we got our flashlights and went into the woods," Bracero recalled.
They found a banged-up Remedy deep in the woods. She had been hit by a car, with a dislocated hip and several wounds, but she was alive.
"She is totally our Christmas miracle. There ain't no money or nothing anybody could get me better than this little dog right here," Bracero said.
However, money has been tight since Bracero has been laid off and now has a growing vet bill. Dr. Rebecca Dye said Remedy needs a $1,500 hip surgery that can only be performed by a specialist.
"The surgery needs to be done as soon as possible. I wish she could have had it done last Friday, but according to her circumstances she's healing at home," Dye said.
But people who have heard about Remedy's circumstances are starting to pour out support for the injured dog, leaving well-wishes on Bracero's Facebook page and giving donations toward her vet bill.
"I mean, it is unbelievable. And it's people that you don't even know. I just broke down and started bawling," Bracero said.
On Tuesday, Bracero posted on Facebook that she hopes Remedy will be able to have her hip surgery next week, thanks to the donations and support she's received in recent days.
Compton's veterinary hospital in Cullman has set up a fund for Remedy. You can call 256-734-9488 for more information.