Tia Vargas and her father were on their annual hike this summer in the Grand Tetons. Just below the 11,000-foot peak she ran into a family who had found an injured English Springer Spaniel.
The dog’s owner could not be found and the family had children to take care of. Vargas figured it was easier for her to carry the dog down where he could get help for his injuries.
Easier thought than done.
"I had to crawl under him to get him up on my shoulders," Vargas, a single mother of three from Idaho Falls, Idaho, tells MNN. "I felt the difficulty of it right away. I never felt 55 pounds like that before.
"Every time I put him down so I could rest it was difficult. And every time I got down on my knees to put my head under his belly and try to use neck and body strength to lift him it was painful and difficult. I thought we would see people on the trail on the way down to help. But that wasn’t the case," she says.
"The thought of stopping crossed my mind once. My legs hurt and were shaking," she says. "When I wanted to quit is when I prayed. Prayer gave me the strength. That and my dad's jokes. He made me laugh and it gave me energy. And feeling the angels lift the dog off of my neck was what I needed to continue on."
At one point they got lost when the snow and fallen trees made the trail disappear.
Finally after hiking six miles to the bottom of the trail, Vargas found a small note that said, "Lost dog named Boomer, call this number."
She called the owners who were sure Boomer was dead. During their hike the day before, Boomer had fallen off a 100-foot cliff and rolled 200 feet. When the family rushed to find him, he was gone. They looked for him until dark, but no Boomer. He had to spend the night alone and injured in a strange place.
Now here’s where the story takes a twist.
Boomer was loved by his family but they were moving and couldn’t take him with them. They had arranged for another family to adopt him. But when the story of Boomer and Vargas came out, everyone agreed that the two belonged together.
Boomer was very fortunate in his fall. The veterinarian found he had mostly bumps, bruises and scratches and a dislocated joint with torn ligaments in his leg. Hopefully he will heal without surgery.
Boomer is now part of the Vargas family. Although the 3 kids had wanted a dog for a long time, Mama Vargas was reluctant to take on a puppy.
But Boomer is a well trained, well behaved dog that just fell into their laps.
Thanks to Marianne “Threecollie” of Northview Diary