Dog abandoned at 14,000 feet, rescued 9 days later

Nick

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This is unreal. Short story, a guy goes hiking on Mt. Bierstadt in Colorado, one of the state's 'fourteeners'. His dog, a 100 pound german shepherd, blows out some paws. With weather moving in, he made the choice to abandon the dog on the mountain and head for home. He never came back for the dog, never reported it missing, no signs at the trailhead, nada.

A week later, a couple is hiking the peak and find the dog, near death between the rocks. They too had to descend because of weather but returned with a group of hikers from the forum 14ers.com to rescue the dog. Amazing story. What really blows me away is that the guy who abandoned his dog and never looked back, now wants his dog back. :facepalm:

UPDATE: Sign a petition to keep Missy from going back to the man who abandoned her here: http://www.change.org/petitions/cle...-missy-to-her-original-owner-anthony-ortolani


http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=36893

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/miracle-dog-missy-rescued-by-strangers_n_1785217.html

Mad props to the people over at 14ers.com for saving Lucky from the mountain.

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JD

I Love Coffee
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Apr 30, 2012
Messages
84
Of course he wants his dog back the hard work is over. They group is awesome for getting that buddy down animals are like kids cant help the situation their brought into.
 

gnwatts

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May 19, 2012
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1,921
Unbelievable.
We adopted a siberian husky about 10 years ago (in my sig), Malek, when he was 4. About 2 weeks after we got him I took my son and a friend on an overnighter to Thomas Lakes, below Mt Sopris, and then climb the mountain the next day. On our way down from the summit the next afternoon, maybe 300 feet above the lake, Malek did not make a turn on the switchback. I thought he was down at the lake with the kids as I came down we had the old "I thought he was with you" exchange. I left them at camp and went back up the trail, almost all of the way to the false summit. No Malek. It started to rain, and I had two 11 year olds to get down off the mountain. My son was in tears as we left the camp. My cell phone works up there, so I called my wife and met her at the trailhead 3 miles below. I had a couple of hours to go back up and find him, then stay the night.
About the time we were heading down, this ultra marathoner "speed peak bagger" guy was running, literally, up the mountain from the trail head, but up the opposite more direct ridge, the opposite side of the mountain from the trail. It took a little over an hour to summit, over 5 miles and 4000 feet of vertical. So this guy in a rain storm summits and then starts down the normal route, and he finds Malek, past the false summit at about 12000 ft., just hanging out. He felt it was someones dog in the area so he continued down to lake 2 miles below. He walks (or runs) past some campers at the lake, they stopped him and asked if he had seen a husky (I had told everyone camped there about Malek), he said yes and immediately starts back up the trail, in a now deteriorating weather situation, and finds Malek a little lower but in bad shape. So he picks Malek up (65 lbs) and carries him down to the lake! He gave him to a couple camped at the lake, and I got a call on my phone. I was about half way back up the trail to the lake in drenching rain when I got their call, Malek was happy in their tent eating their gorp, and the couple told me to come back up in the morning, as they were really enjoying the canine company. I was back up at the lake at 7am the next morning, gave them some food and a bottle of wine, and escorted Malek, on leash back to the car. Fast forward about a week, we invited the guy who rescued Malek over to our house to thank him. It was great to meet this guy, almost a saint. He told me that a reporter from the local Glenwood Springs paper had contacted him and there might be a story. No one called us, and then we read in the paper the story, which the reporter basically said that I left my dog on the mountain, evidently to die, and he was rescued etc. The story was on the amazing feat this guy performed, running up the mountain, down, back up and then carry Malek down, while I was chiiling at home not concerned. I got a call that day from Malek's rescuer, saying the reporter ignored everything he said about us, and just printed up half the story. There were letters to the editor, thankfully only a few, eviscerating me for abandoning my dog. The paper printed a "clarification" but it was a waste of time, and the damage was done
We had Malek for another 8 years, passing just after xmas last year.
 

audraiam

I just work here :)
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
52
gnwatts that is an amazing story, it is truly too bad the paper got it wrong. You did the right thing, both in getting your children to safety but also you did want any proper dog owner (furry child parent) does. You told everyone you came across to look for him, you secured your children and returned to find him. Because of your actions people were prepared to show kindness and earn some great Karma. You gave him the opportunity to be recognized as needing to be saved.

I am glad that Malek had such a great family for so many years.
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
1,692
I can't believe that guy just abandoned his dog and never made any attempt to rescue him. What a despicable excuse for a human being! I'm so happy that the 14er's came to Lucky's rescue, and I really hope that Lucky doesn't end up back in the "care" of her douchebag owner.
 

Bob Palin

Killer
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
159
I can see myself being in this position, although perhaps it's more likely that I'll be injured than Biff. What do you dog owners carry to try and mitigate against it? I always have a first aid kit on longer trips and some duct tape! Duct tape over gauze on the paws?
 

Nick

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I can see myself being in this position, although perhaps it's more likely that I'll be injured than Biff. What do you dog owners carry to try and mitigate against it? I always have a first aid kit on longer trips and some duct tape! Duct tape over gauze on the paws?

After a couple of bad experiences, I now carry a bit of an arsenal of dog first-aid. Here's what I bring:

1. dog boots
2. some dog pain killers (Rimadyl)
3. A tube of neosporin ointment in the human first aid kit
4. gauze in the human first aid kit
5. plenty of sensi wrap (vet wrap)

If I'd had all that when things went wrong on my trip to Death Hollow & Wolverine with Nikita or what happened to Teak on my trip to Chimney Canyon in April, things would have been so much better. If you buy actual vet wrap from the pet store, it's ridiculously expensive, but we found a whole case of it (36 rolls) on Amazon for like $25. Now I throw in 3 or 4 rolls of it everytime I head out with the dogs. It weighs almost nothing and could work wonders for both dog and human alike.

vet-wrap.jpeg


teak-wrap.jpeg
 

gnwatts

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gnwatts that is an amazing story, it is truly too bad the paper got it wrong. You did the right thing, both in getting your children to safety but also you did want any proper dog owner (furry child parent) does. You told everyone you came across to look for him, you secured your children and returned to find him. Because of your actions people were prepared to show kindness and earn some great Karma. You gave him the opportunity to be recognized as needing to be saved.

I am glad that Malek had such a great family for so many years.

Thanks.
Greg
 

Nurrgle

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
227
Scew the owner. It's not like he was on Everest maybe he might have had to spend a crappy night in the cold but for a family member, I'd do just about anything. I think about how sad my pooches would be to watch me head off down the trail and leaving them behind. One look at that dogs face in the pic at the parking lot shows how happy he was to be back amongst freinds.
 

Nick

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The guy who abandoned her has been charged with animal cruelty. :D

http://content.usatoday.com/communi...ured-dog-left-on-colorado-peak/1#.UDE9H9BYtNk

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HomerJ

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Me too!
 

Nick

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HomerJ

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Photos of me carrying Nikita out of Wolverine Canyon this past spring. She weighs about 80 pounds.
Nikita + your pack! :twothumbs: You probably had an extra 110-120 lbs on you! :eek:
 

Artemus

I walk
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Jun 25, 2012
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Granted, this situation wasn't quite as epic as being on a 13,000 foot ridge covered in boulders with a storm moving in, but I'm sharing regardless.

Photos of me carrying Nikita out of Wolverine Canyon this past spring. She weighs about 80 pounds. This was still 4-5 miles away from the trailhead.

nick, I knew you were a HUGE guy. I just didn't know how huge. Large cred to you and to gnwatts and to the 14'ers. You all deserve much love for taking care of our fellow creatures.

As another first aid tip, we have twice had to assist our friend's Golden Retriever from a long ways in because she blew out her pads (are all Retrievers feet that fragile? UPDATE - Ruby reminds me that she is tougher than nails - it is just her pads that are "delicate". She IS tough.) Duct tape, once with gauze underneath and once without did the trick. A little tricky for the dog because it is slippery but it made a night/day difference in her being able to walk.

My buddy Julio and his buddy Ruby:
IMG_4611.jpg
 
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