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We have found the best dog ever

Old Lady is in the running for being the toughest and greatest dog ever known.

Old Lady is in the running for being the toughest and greatest dog ever known.

Adjust your ranking systems accordingly. The greatest dog of all time might be this big, sweet-looking St. Bernard who happens to call Minnesota home.

And is, apparently, built to last. "Old Lady" is her go-by name, one based on her advanced age, but by the end of this story you'll be calling her all sorts of other labels. "Badass" comes to mind. "Legendary," perhaps. We'll let you figure it out.

Here is what she did: She got lost around Princeton, Minnesota, running away from her doggy foster parents and out into the wild. That was January 4. Search parties were formed, and volunteers hit the streets and woods around there to see if they could find her. How hard could it be to spot the biggest damn dog in the world?

Pretty hard, apparently: Some phone calls came in saying people had seen the floppy bear-shaped dog wandering around, but no one could catch her. She continued on her runaway. 

That's not so rare; dogs run away all the time. 

Here's what's remarkable. Old Lady then stayed away. Didn't come back, didn't ask anyone new for shelter. Roamed around outside.

That's where they found her, Ruff Start Rescue said in a Facebook post. She had been outside for (get this!) 17 days. 

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Know what the weather's been like around Princeton, Minnesota this month? Temperatures hit a high of 43 on the day Old Lady bolted from her adopted home, and a low of 21. Then the weather took a turn for the worse, and low temps day-to-day have regularly hit the single digits. Old Lady was out in the cooooooooold, people.

On January 20, the low temperature measured in the Princeton area was 6 degrees Fahrenheit. 

No, sorry. That was the high temperature that day. The low was [rubs eyes] negative NINE.

That's the sort of temperature that bites your skin and chills your bones, catches your breath, and causes doctors and health experts to issue exposure warnings. Old Lady missed the message. She was still out there, on January 21, living in extreme cold, when Ruff Start finally tracked her down. 

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The rescue mission was a tough one; clearly, this is not a dog that makes anything easy. Old Lady was born in a "puppy mill" situation, according to Ruff Start, which explains her trust issues. She was "SO cold and shivering" when they found her, and her rescuers believe she had been stuck in the same place... all weekend. Including the -9 day, the day before. 

No kidding she was cold! 

This isn't a contest, and City Pages knows the dog that lives at your house is the best, wiliest, sweetest dog of all time. But we submit to you, Reader, that Old Lady may be something special. This dog spent 17 days outside in weather that causes certain among us to refuse to go outside to start their car. She slept out there, or tried to. She walked around, looked at stuff. Maybe scavenged for food, but was certainly hungry, at her size. 

Survived.

Ruff Start/Facebook

Ruff Start/Facebook

What a dog. Old Lady, we salute you. Minnesota was once the home of a black bear that lived a very, very long time outside, and became famous worldwide, and you deserve the same fate. Please don't run away again. It's cold outside, and... you know your caretakers will do all this all over again. Any dog like this deserves saving.