At the end of March, Ann Charon Rodgers, who lives near Tucson, AZ, drove to Phoenix to visit her grandkids. She took along her rescue dog, Queenie, and her cell phone, but little else--no water, no snacks. And why should she? The drive is less than two hours long.
Rodgers never got there, though. Her car ran out of gas near the White Mountain Indian Reservation, along the Arizona forest. Disorientated, she and Queenie left the car and climbed some ridges to see if they could find a cell phone signal.
No luck. Then the 72-year-old grandmother and her pet wandered the area for nine days. The Arizona Department of Safety sent out rescue teams, but they came up empty handed. Meanwhile, Rodgers and her dog survived by drinking pond water and eating plants. "I just moved as fast as I could," she told NBCNews.com. "If I couldn't do that, I crawled. If I couldn't do that, I sat on my butt and crawled." At no time did she think of giving up.
In fact, she spelled out "H-E-L-P" in sticks, which a passing helicopter did spot. And sent up signal fires.
But it wasn't until a ranger spotted Queenie trotting out of a canyon on April 9 that a rescue team was able to find the woman, and carry her and her dog to safety.
Rodgers was treated for exposure, but then sent home. Asked what got her through, she told NBCNews.com that it was her "wisdom and memories," proving yet again that growing older does have a HUGE silver lining!
via NBCNews.com and Buzzfeed
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