A search for a missing hiker in southern Colorado came to a tragic end this week when the man’s body was discovered, but his family were reunited with his dog, who was miraculously found alive and standing guard over her owner.

On August 19, Rich Moore, 71, of Pagosa Springs set out with his dog to hike Blackhead Peak, a 12,500ft mountain in the southern San Juans, but never returned, prompting a nearly two-month search and rescue mission.

According to a press release by Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, a hunter discovered his body in the Lower Blanco drainage basin on October 30, seven weeks after he want missing.

Against all odds, Moore’s faithful Jack Russell Terrier was still alive and standing over her owner. 

Mountain rescue was dispatched to the area the following day, where they were able to extract Moore’s remains. After transporting the terrier, named Finney, to a vet, she was reunited with her family.

Though Blackhead Peak trail is only six miles roundtrip, it’s a steep and challenging hike and reaching the summit requires navigating rocky cliffs, while temperatures in the area on the day Moore disappeared were in the high 80s which may have added a level of risk.

Moore’s cause of death remains unknown, pending autopsy.

Original Article