A dog that went above and beyond the call of human-canine loyalty when her owner died of hypothermia while hiking on Colorado’s Blackhead Peak mountain, remaining by his side for 10 weeks after they left his Pagosa Springs, Colorado, home, is on the path to recovery after being discovered by a hunter.
As background, the dog is a Jack Russell terrier named Finney. Finney was owned by Rich Moore, a 71-year-old man from Pagosa Springs who went missing while hiking in august. Then, on October 30, Moore’s corpse and a starving Finney were found by a hunter.
Fortunately, Finney, who had lost about half of her body weight when discovered by the hunter, not only managed to survive until found, but is now living with Moore’s family and is on the path to recovery and has regained most of her weight.
Speaking about Finney’s miraculous recovery, Moore’s wife, Dana Holby, told The Associated Press on Thursday, “She has gained almost all of her weight back and her strength is almost where it was. She is the miracle dog.”
Continuing, Holby added that Finney has finally managed to get enough to eat after being ravenous for a long time, saying, “She is now 3, very clingy and will not let me out of her sight. Her ravenous appetite has calmed down, but at first she could not get enough to eat and wanted food at all times of the day and night.” Holby also noted that Finney has a wound on her snout that might leave a scar, which makes sense given her ten weeks in the woods.
Holby then spoke about how Finney’s jaw-dropping survival story has made her the most popular canine in Pagosa Springs, saying, “People say, ‘Is that Finney?’” She said that she responds to them with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
Then, speaking about the four to five mile hikes she and Finney take most days, Holby added that Finney’s presence is a comfort, particularly as Finney was there with Moore up until his final moments and so “was there when he needed her.”
Speaking about that, Holby said, “She is such a comfort to me and a great companion on hikes.” She added, “I know that she was with Rich to the very end and somehow that should be a comfort. I don’t know how she did it, but she was there when he needed her.”
After Finney was found, a dog trainer and member of the Taos Search and Rescue Team that looked for Moore, Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, said that Finney’s “magnificent story of survival” is a testament to her dedication and loyalty to Moore. She added, “If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story. We probably could not even believe the story the dog would tell.”
That was when she made the announcement that Finney had been returned to the family, saying, “We are very glad … that Finney was returned to the family because they have lost their loved one, but they still have this wonderful, loyal dog.”
Featured image credit: stock image By Spider.Dog from United Kingdom – Dog on a Stick, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23360316
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