Loyal Dog Stays by Deceased Colorado Hiker’s Side for Months

In a tragic incident, a Colorado hiker who disappeared in August was discovered dead last month on a challenging peak in the Rocky Mountains. However, his Jack Russell terrier, Finny, remarkably survived and remained by his deceased owner’s side for months. The hiker, 71-year-old Rich Moore from Pagosa Spring, Colorado, had embarked on a hike up the 12,500-foot mountain on August 19 but never returned.

Search-and-rescue teams were deployed, scouring the forests below the peak and moving towards the trailhead where Moore’s car was found. Despite dedicating over 2,000 hours to the search, they were unable to locate Moore. It wasn’t until October 30, nearly two months later, that a hunter came across Moore’s body more than two miles east of the summit, with Finny still by his side.

Incredibly, Finny had managed to survive for over two months in the wilderness, never leaving his owner’s side. The story of the loyal terrier touched many, with dozens expressing their condolences to Moore’s family and praising Finny’s loyalty on social media. Many were amazed at how the Jack Russell managed to survive, likely relying on rudimentary hunting instincts to catch small prey.

According to Chaffee County Search and Rescue North, Moore was ill-prepared for his hike. He reached the summit of a 13,000-foot peak in the Cottonwood Lake area, near Buena Vista, wearing only a cotton hooded sweatshirt and with no remaining food or water. The cause of Moore’s death remains unknown, but investigators do not suspect foul play.

The terrain where Moore was found was so steep that rescuers, including a certified K9, had to be airlifted onto the mountaintop. Finny was taken to a vet before being reunited with his family. Moore’s family expressed relief at gaining some closure and having their beloved pet returned home, according to a statement from the Taos Search and Rescue team.