A "miracle dog" is reunited with its owner after surviving 53 days in the Nevada desert following a deadly car crash.

Barbara Bagley said she never gave up hope that her beloved 4-year-old Shetland sheepdog, Dooley, would be found after the animal bolted from the scene of the Dec. 27 crash on Interstate 80 near Battle Mountain, about 225 miles east of Reno, that killed her husband and her other dog, The Associated Press reported.

"I would think about Dooley constantly," the Salt Lake City woman told the AP. "There were TV commercials with dogs that made me think about him and cry. He's just the sweetest dog."

Dooley was tracked down Feb. 18 by a local resident and family friend after surviving on roadkill and scattered ranch water resources.

An ecstatic, tearful Bagley arrived at the scene a short time later.

A short time later, an exhausted Dooley sat on his owner's lap in the Jeep and fell asleep. He later began following Bagley around, the AP reported.

"I was overjoyed that I was going to have him back in my life. I think he felt the same about me," she said.

Bagley told Salt Lake City TV station KSL she believes her husband helped Dooley get home.