Karina Chikitova, a 3-year-old girl, was rescued by her puppy after surviving 11 days lost in the Siberian woods.

Karina and her puppy went missing from her Olykminsky district home – in Russia’s Yakutia Republic – on July 29, but her mother initially believed she was with her father, Rodion, a few miles away in his native village. Unable to contact Rodion – there are no phones in the area – Karina’s mother didn’t alert authorities until Aug. 3. Russian authorities sent rescue dogs and led searches into the forest surrounding the area, but failed to find traces of Karina.

Puppy Saves 3 Year Old Girl Lost In The Woods

When the puppy suddenly arrived home, without Karina, her parents reportedly believed their daughter to be dead. However, a few days later, the puppy led men into the forest and straight to Karina.

“Our hearts truly and deeply sank. If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive. So when her dog came back we thought ‘that’s it.’ In the morning, almost right after we began searches – we only made 20 meters – we saw Karina sitting in the grass. We rushed to her, got her a little tea and grabbed her to run back to the car and doctors. I carried Karina myself to the car, and she was light as a bird,” recounted rescue party member Afansiy Nikolayev.

Weak and dehydrated after 11 days on her own, Karina suffered minor injuries and was immediately taken to a hospital in Yakutsk.

It is believed that Karina survived eating berries and insects and drinking river water, and was able to survive the cold nights by sleeping with her puppy in the tall grass.

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