The day of July 4 turned into a frightening experience for one dog after being lost and badly injured on an icy mountain. He was terrified until his hero rescuer turned up.
Tia Maree Vargas, 40, was tired while trekking on the 11,106-foot-high summit of Table Rock in Idaho, but when she came across a lost, injured dog following a family, who were trying to locate his owners, she felt compelled to help.
Boomer, a 55-pound (approx. 25-kilogram) English Springer Spaniel, had become lost the night before. After falling into a 100-foot ice crevasse and sliding a couple of hundred feet, he was badly injured and could hardly even limp. The poor canine had attached himself to a family with children, but they had no way to get themselves and Boomer down the mountain.
“If it were my dog or my child or someone I loved, I would want someone to do that for me…There’s no way I could have left him up there and still had a heart at peace,” she told ABC.
“You could tell he was very dehydrated. He had cuts and scratches on his belly and on his head. He was in bad condition.”
Boomer was suffering, so with her dad’s help, Vargas hoisted the spaniel up onto her shoulders, and they set off down the mountain. This turned out to be a very testing challenge, as they had unknowingly taken a track that was closed due to snow and debris.
“We got lost twice. We couldn’t find the trail,” she said. “And at one point we had river on both sides of us, and that’s about when my legs were done. We were walking through brush and thicket and it was scratching our legs. It started to rain and I put Boomer down on a rock and I laid on his belly and I was just done.”
Her dad kept her going though. “He made a joke. It made me laugh and I thought, ‘I’m alright. I can do this.’ So I said a little prayer and I picked up Boomer and it literally felt like someone had walked up behind me and lifted the weight off my shoulders,” she added.
After a six-hour endurance test, Vargas got Boomer to the bottom of the mountain, where a family had posted a sign about their lost dog, and she rang the number.
“They were so worried. And their kids were just in tears,” she said.
“They thought for sure that they had lost him forever. We called them and their first question was – ‘Is he dead?’ And we’re like, ‘No, he’s very much alive and you could hear the 9-year-old Travis in the background crying.”
Vargas said the owners had searched for Boomer for hours overnight and were so grateful to her that they gifted Boomer to her.
His owners had been planning to sell him as a hunting dog before the accident, but perhaps it was Boomer’s destiny to be with his hero rescuer in a forever home!
We would love to hear your stories! You can share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org