Ruth Terry's Scary Experience

September 4, 2008 8:37:05 PM PDT
The missing woman who was found with her dog after three days in the Sierra National Forest spoke about her scary experience for the first time.Ruth Terry and her family say they're happy to be back together and thankful for all of the volunteers who spent days searching the forest and hoping for this happy ending.

Ruth Terry: "She's a good buddy, aren't you? She's the best."

Ruth Terry and her dog Mopps are still weak from spending 72 hours with only one raspberry and some spring water to sustain them. Ruth is covered in scratches and haunted by the howling coyotes and growling bear she heard in the woods. But the 71 year old knows she's lucky to be alive.

Ruth Terry: "I said 'God I don't mind dying, but I don't want to die out here and get eaten by a bear'."

Ruth's family members say the longer she was gone the more they worried she might never come back.

David Terry: "Mountain lions, bears, when they couldn't find a trace of her or the dog, we started thinking abduction."

Tamara Terry, Daughter: "We started thinking she was killed and we were just crying a lot."

Ruth's dangerous journey started Sunday morning when she took Mopps down a different path for their daily walk and ended up lost. The pair sat in one spot for seven hours hoping to be found before Ruth decided to follow a set of ATV tracks that led to an unfamiliar meadow. Sunday evening she spotted a helicopter in the area, but the crew did not see her. Ruth kept searching for a way home, but by Tuesday morning Mopps had had enough.

Ruth Terry: "I got up about 6:00 I said Mopps we've got to get going and she wouldn't move. It was too early for her. She's not a morning person."

Ruth never lost her sense of humor or gave up hope, and Wednesday morning she finally found the path that led her back toward the store where volunteers and her family were waiting.

Paul Terry: "It's just like someone taking a weight off your chest to see her coming back and we're just so grateful and happy to have her back."

Ruth and her husband plan to start heading home to San Bernardino County next week, but not before doing some camping in Sequoia National Park along the way.

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