72-year-old woman and her dog rescued after 9 days in wilderness

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A 72-year-old Arizona woman and her dog were rescued after spending nine days in the wilderness, according to KOLD.

On March 31 Ann Charon Rodgers left Tucson, and headed to Phoenix to visit her grandchildren. On her way, Rodgers got lost on a remote, back-country road on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.

Authorities say she ran out of gas and her hybrid vehicle lost its charge.

With no phone signal, Rodgers had to find a way to survive until help arrived.

"I waited until sun up the next morning, hoping a truck, a car, anybody, anything would go by. Even a steer. I didn't care, anything alive," Rodgers told KOLD.

For nine days, Rodgers and her dog survived by drinking pond water and eating plants.

On April 9, a tribal game and fish officer found Rodgers' dog walking near the Canyon Creek.

When Rodgers started seeing planes and helicopters flying by, she knew she had to get their attention.

Rodgers found a bleached white elk carcass and pulled it onto the sandy beach next to a sign that said "help."

The rescue team found Rodgers waving at a helicopter next to a fire in a canyon not far from an abandoned shelter she had made to survive.

"I was sobbing," Rodgers told KOLD. "Of course, I had been waving my big red bag around like crazy."

She was suffering from exposure when rescue workers found her but was in fair condition.

Rodgers said she learned how to live off the land by taking survival courses.

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