Miracle Dog Survives Eight Days in a Hole

Arnie - Photo credit Pam Patterson

It was a day just like any other when Pamela Patterson went out for a run. She always leaves Arnie, her long haired miniature Dachshund, locked in the house, so he doesn’t follow her as she ventures out. When she returns from her run Arnie has his turn and she lets him out to run free. “He always stays close and comes right back,” Pam said. But on that day Arnie didn’t return.
Pam spent hours searching for the lost dog but there was no sign of him.

When night fell and he was still missing, Pam started putting the word out that Arnie was lost. She called neighbors, posted on Facebook, emailed friends, and posted a lost dog ad on the Clarke Daily News. Everyone was on the lookout for Arnie. Even friends who ride in the hunt would call out for him while riding their horses in the area where he went missing.

One day turned into two, and two turned into four, and there was still no sign of Arnie. And then it snowed. A freak October snow storm blanketed the area with six inches of wet snow while Arnie was missing. It was a low point in the search Pam said, “I never lost hope but I was really discouraged when the snowstorm hit.”

As it turns out, that snowstorm may have very well saved Arnie’s life.

Eight days into the ordeal Karel Wennick was riding through the area on horseback. Karel was calling out for Arnie hoping the little dog would respond and on that day he did. Karel heard the faintest whimper and made a phone call to Kathy Smart who lives nearby. Kathy located the source of the sound in a thicket about 150 yards from Pam’s home. Upon closer inspection she found Arnie stuck in a hole with only his nose sticking out. She hurriedly dug him out with her hands and immediately called Kelly Smith, another neighbor, who in turn called Pam to tell her they had found the dog. Pam made a call to her vet and arranged an emergency visit. Pam then rushed to get Arnie, wrapped him in a blanket and Kelly shuttled them both to the vet.

At the vet, Pam put Arnie on the exam table and unwrapped the blanket. As soon as he was free he leaped into Pam’s arms. “He lost some weight, but was in terrific shape, Pam said.

His predicament allowed him to survive the long ordeal. While animals can go many days without food, water is essential and dehydration and death can occur after just a few days. Pam believes the snow storm provided life-saving hydration for Arnie that allowed him to survive eight days. “It really is a miracle. Being underground in a hole provided shelter and the snow gave him enough water to survive. Everyone was amazed how well he survived.”

Arnie is none the worse for wear after his ordeal, but Pam said he does tend to stay much closer to home now.


  1. Such a heart warming story and the day after Thanksgiving. I’m so glad you got your doggy back. I own a horse and to hear that he was found while on a horse makes it that much better. Enjoy your poochy.

  2. YIppeee for Arnie! And Karel, Kathy, Kelly, and Pam! Everyone loves a happy ending and this certainly was one!

  3. That made me cry. I can’t imagine! I am beyond happy for you Pam!!!

  4. This wasn’t the huge dogs on Rice Street that bark all day and night is it?

  5. Vote me down all you want, but those huge dogs that belong on a farm bark all day and night…………………
    Try living next to them…..

    • Jenn McLean says:

      Take it up with their owners, not the rest of us dog lovers~! Congrats to Arnie and Pam! We love you guys!

  6. Thanks so much to all of you for your kind words. I’m so grateful to have my HUGE 11 pound Miniature Dachshund back home on the farm!