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January 14, 2014

Pomeranian survives arctic cold in Champlain

CHAMPLAIN — In the stillness of the early, subzero morning, John Zurlo Sr. heard a strange sort of bark coming from outside his Point au Fer home.

“This ‘ruff, ruff, ruff,’” he said. “Very low.

“I didn’t think much of it.”

But when it continued, he tracked it down.

Tucked against where the house meets the deck was Emerald, a neighbor’s Pomeranian, which had been evading capture for more than two weeks despite arctic cold.

“When I picked it up, it never moved in my arms,” said Zurlo. “But I put her down, and she walked 12, 15 feet to (a portable) heater.”

Emerald curled up in front of its glowing warmth and went to sleep.

That morning, Zurlo said, was 19 below zero.

“I don’t think that dog would have made it (outside) to 10 o’clock that morning.”

HOT AND COLD

Talk about playing hard to get ...

Annie Rochester had let Emerald out the front door for a late-night pit stop that December night, followed by Gowain, a prospective contender for the female Pom’s hand, er, paw.

Emerald took off, with Gowain in pursuit.

“Typically, she comes right back in,” Annie’s husband, Dan, said. “But she was in heat.”

Before long, it was more like deep freeze, as the night was bitterly cold, and the young dog lacked the good sense of her suitor.

“A mama’s boy,” Annie said, Gowain barked at the door of Joe and Marty Heath’s home and invited himself in.

“At about 1 a.m., Joe called and said he was there,” Annie said. 

Emerald, however, had embarked on a winter journey that took her everywhere on the small peninsula except her own home on Scales Road.

“I think she was totally disoriented,” Annie said. “She had never been out of our yard before.”

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