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As a wildfire roared toward South Lake Tahoe last summer, a man suffered his own kind of tragedy: His dog went missing.

Russ, a pit bull-terrier mix, ran away from his owner’s vehicle and couldn’t be found anywhere. Russ had been lost for good, his owner thought.

But then on Dec. 16, a man skiing west of Tahoe spotted a dog and posted photos of the animal online.

Leona Allen, an experienced animal tracker who volunteers with a rescue group, strapped on snowshoes and followed what she hoped were dog tracks, The Associated Press reports.

today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Something that a Zoom meeting, Airbnb and “S.N.L.” each have (4 letters).

Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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