A Jack Russell terrier who stayed with the body of her owner for 10 weeks after the elderly man died while hiking has been found, rescued, and reunited with her family.
Three-year-old terrier, Finney, was found next to the body of her owner, 71-year-old Richard Moore of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, on Oct. 30, after an intensive 2,100-hour manhunt by Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (CDFPC), Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, and local search and rescue.
The pair had been missing since Aug. 19. Mr. Moore, an experienced hiker, had planned to reach the summit of Blackhead Peak, to the east of his hometown.
Search and rescue, accompanied by sheriff’s deputies, were dispatched to the area by helicopter and hiked a mile to the basin to bring Mr. Moore’s body and Finney home.
Finney was transported to a local vet for treatment before being reunited with her family.
Finney, who stood vigil for 72 days, bared her teeth and barked at the hunter who found them. The search and rescue team was able to lure her with a can of wet dog food, and the starving pup “picked it up with her teeth,” said the sheriff’s emergency management commander, Ryan Foster, according to Denver Gazette.
“The day they found him there was a wildland fire, and then a call came in. A hunter messaged his son in town that he had found a body and a dog,” the commander said.
Sheriff Mike Le Roux, who broke the news of Mr. Moore’s recovery to his wife of 34 years, Dana Holby, said, “It really was a needle in a haystack ... they were found at the end of nowhere,” adding that, amid the tragedy of Mr. Moore’s passing, bringing Finney home was “a little light at the end of the tunnel.”
Ms. Holby said: “I’m just grateful that she was with him. Rich did not want to get old. He wanted to climb mountains until he couldn’t, so here we are.”