Luba Lusherovich, 77, was found in the Norris Canyon area after 185 search and rescue personnel from nine counties converged on San Ramon to help find her.
Lusherovich walked away from her family's home near Bollinger Canyon Road and Marsh Drive, and efforts to find her grew more urgent as the days passed.
Kelsey Lusherovich, Luba Lusherovich's granddaughter-in-law, said the family was notified that the elderly relative had been found and that she was taken to a hospital to be evaluated but is expected to be OK. The younger woman said the older woman was conscious and talking, but dehydrated.
"I'm ecstatic; frankly, this is a miracle," she said. "She had no food, no money, no water ... I don't know how much more miraculous it could get."
San Ramon police Sgt. Hollis Tong said she was found near a creek on Norris Canyon Road. Search and rescue dogs from the California Rescue Dogs Association first found a shoe, then a piece of clothing.
The handlers notified the command post at 2:15 p.m. that the dogs had picked up her scent and followed it to a house, where they found her, conscious and smiling, Tong said.
It was Ammo's first find, said handler Sonya Roth of her yellow Labrador retriever.
"I was so excited I was shaking when we found her," Roth said. "That thrill ... that's why we do this. Ammo may have saved her life."
Search-and-rescue crews from Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, San Mateo, Napa and Sacramento counties concentrated their search Saturday near the hilly area of Norris Canyon Road, near Castro Valley, and near the family home, Tong said.
There had been concerns that Lusherovich, a friendly European immigrant who once helped to teach kindergartners in Walnut Creek and Pleasanton, may have left the area, even though she left home without money. She also was without her medications, Tong said.
A police officer saw her on Norris Canyon Road as it heads toward Castro Valley around 2 p.m. Wednesday, but police had not yet been notified that Lusherovich was missing.
Police grew more worried as the days ticked by without finding her. More than 100 civilian volunteers came out Saturday to help search. "Everyone from all walks of life came out to find Luba," Tong said. "Time was of the essence."
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh.