SAVAGE, Minn. - If only he could talk, Nguyen Dang's dog "Po" would have some story to tell.
Dang dropped off the 3-year-old Shih Tzu/Bichon mix to get a haircut Friday afternoon at Pampered Paws Salon and Spa in Burnsville.
Three and a half hours later, she says the groomer called.
"They said, 'Well we have some bad news.' I said, 'What happened?' And they said, 'Well, we lost Po. He ran away.'"
Dang's family started looking for him as temperatures dropped to -14 that night.
They continued looking Saturday, as temperatures never rose above -7.
"I said to my kids, you need to be prepared that we might not find him," Dang said.
"I was mostly scared. But I tried to be brave," said her daughter, Lydia.
"But she refused to listen to me," Dang said. "She's like, 'Mom, you can't think like that. You got to think positive.'"
At the same time, animal lovers across the Twin Cities spread the word over social media.
But another full day of below zero temps passed before, finally, some good news.
At about 1 p.m. Monday, thanks to all the signs the family put up in the neighborhood, somebody called to say to say Po ran into their garage, a couple blocks from the groomer.
"Oh my gosh. We are beside ourselves," Dang said.
"I was jumping up and down," Lydia said.
Besides cockleburs matted into his fur, Po shows few physical effects of his three days in the elements.
"I think he's been in hiding," Dang said.
Lots of questions remain. But this family has the most important answer: Po is alive.
"We've missed him. We've missed this one. He is the cuddler. As you can tell, he's just like a baby," Dang said.
The family is taking Po to the vet Tuesday, but he shows no signs of frostbite.
An employee at the dog groomer confirmed they lost the dog last week, but the owner did not return a call with further comment.