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Dog Found (and saved): Mt. Bierstadt!

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby shea_nb » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:49 pm

This was truly and amazing story and amazing people who went and got this dog. You all deserve a pat on the back and a round of beers. Sounds like you already had the beers ;). My wife and I had just climbed Bierstadt the weekend prior with our German Shepherd. So this really touched home. Scott sorry I couldn't make it up with you all I could not get out of work early enough to make it happen. I probably would of just been in the way anyhow not being a very experienced climber myself. Here are some pics of our dog on the hike and at the top. Again the wife and I were seriously upset about this dog being abandoned. We hope that nothing serious happened to the owner but at the same time thinking about the ladder is just too infuriating.

Shea
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Just the two of us.
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Last edited by shea_nb on Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby AlexMack » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:53 am

MountainHiker wrote:Let’s reserve judgment on the owner until we know what happened. It’s conceivable she was with a family who drove up Mt Evans, chased a marmot and got lost. If they weren’t climbers they wouldn’t know about 14ers.com but perhaps tried other ways to publicize. They could have contacted who they thought were the proper authorities. Think of the prolifera of overlapping and multiple jurisdictions we have in even a single county. A lost dog isn’t going to be the highest priority to some of them as was eluded to early in this thread. A found dog and a lost dog report might not get matched up if either of them languished on the wrong desk. There could be a kid crying himself to sleep tonight not knowing his best friend is now safe.

Well put, MountainHiker.

I have to admit, this kind of worst-case-scenario you mentioned above is the first thing that comes to my mind whenever the "leash" argument comes up. I'm not afraid of unknown dogs, and I'm not really worried about the kind of dogs and their owners that you'll generally encounter out on the trail. But I've always kind of seen it as a responsibility issue. You never know how an animal will behave when something weird happens. I'll get off my soapbox now...

ANYWAY...this thread is awesome. Giant kudos to all involved, and I can't wait to hear how that beautiful doggie turns out!!
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." - Evan Hardin

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:34 am

Hi all,

I am the owner of the German Shepard girl found on Mt. Bierstadt.

I need to know the name of the vet clinic that Missy is at so I can go see her and re-reimburse them for helping her, and if I am fortunate enough, to bring her home.


I am at a complete loss of words. My gratitude for the people involved in this is without measure.

Missy was hurt during an attempt at crossing the Sawtooth. It was Missy, a friend and I. Her paws got bloodied up right in the belly of the sawtooth. I was assisting her with the climb using ropes and a harness for a while but she kept getting hurt worse. A few kind hikers stopped and offered some assistance but incoming weather pushed people off of the saddle. My friend and I realized that we could not get Missy up the saddle to Evans or Bierstadt safely so we decided to bail off of the saddle into the valley between the two mountains to escape the incoming clouds. We were lowering her for a while with ropes from boulder to boulder but she was hurting herself worse against the rocks sprawling out and catching them with her legs. Eventually she just stopped standing or moving at all and I knew she was pretty badly hurt. I picked her up on my shoulders and was hopping from boulder to boulder but I couldn't keep her on me. I dropped her once and I almost fell once too and I realized that I couldn't carry her off of the mountain. At this point I made the decision that I honestly never thought I would even be faced with. I left her there so that my friend and I could get down safely with intentions of calling S&R when we were off of the mountian. We both spent about two hours trying to move her up and down the mountain and were pretty exhausted. Neither one of us wanted to hike up the saddle with the cloud cover growing so we continued down into the valley and hiked back to Guanella Pass Rd. It was a lot farther than we thought it would be, and we got lost several times. A group of hunters showed us the way out and gave us a ride back to our car. Thank you to them as well.

I called the 911, the sheriffs office and search and rescue and I was told that it was to risky for them to send rescue crew up there for a dog, which was upsetting but understandable. I'll admit that while trying to get off of the the mountain I was not as concerned because I was focused on making it safely off of the mountain, but once I was safely at my car I was overwhelmed with the loss, and the decision to leave her there. The next couple of days was absolutely horrible wondering about her, if she was alive, or if she died. Thinking about her suffering was awful beyond words. Many confidants comforted me by saying that she was probably gone from injury. All I can say is that I am relieved that she is okay, I am ashamed that it was not me that started this thread, I am ashamed that it wasn't me who got her off of the mountain, I underestimated the good will and resolve of the hiking community of Colorado, and I am eternally grateful to all of you and to 9news. I humbly beg the forgiveness of the community and most of all my Missy Girl. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:13 am

I am reading through all of these threads, and I am just in awe of how heroic and amazing everyone is that did this. I also see all of the anger and hatred towards me and the decision that I made. I feel that I deserve it all. I made it in a panic to be sure, and what I felt was a survival situation. I didn't think to post on 14er's.com to ask for everyone to come fix my colossal mistake in judgement. It is truly amazing that all of you did it on your own. I don't have proper words. It was several days before I would have even been able to even think of walking back up Bierstadt much less into the sawtooth and to try and carry Missy out, and after that I just thought it would be to late. I honestly never thought that I could just ask strangers to go check the sawtooth and carry my 112lb German Shepard out. I don't know what to say. Thank you again to the community, and to those who are angry I am so so sorry. Missy has done 6 14'ers and she loves being out there in the mountains. She depends on me to make smart choices, and taking her into the sawtooth was beyond foolish.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby klinger » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:54 am

aortolani14 wrote:I am reading through all of these threads, and I am just in awe of how heroic and amazing everyone is that did this. I also see all of the anger and hatred towards me and the decision that I made. I feel that I deserve it all. I made it in a panic to be sure, and what I felt was a survival situation. I didn't think to post on 14er's.com to ask for everyone to come fix my colossal mistake in judgement. It is truly amazing that all of you did it on your own. I don't have proper words. It was several days before I would have even been able to even think of walking back up Bierstadt much less into the sawtooth and to try and carry Missy out, and after that I just thought it would be to late. I honestly never thought that I could just ask strangers to go check the sawtooth and carry my 112lb German Shepard out. I don't know what to say. Thank you again to the community, and to those who are angry I am so so sorry. Missy has done 6 14'ers and she loves being out there in the mountains. She depends on me to make smart choices, and taking her into the sawtooth was beyond foolish.


WOW just...wow... happy endings...some harsh lessons here....no doubt some to be taught by some angry 14erites...this website wants to keep your dog.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:01 am

I am sitting here refreshing the screen over and over waiting for people to wake. I am very certain that I have quite the s**t storm coming. But I have to take the good with the bad, with something this good there is a lot of bad I suppose. They can say what ever they want, I will read and learn from every single word. It was my arrogance that put Missy in that situation. I don't ever want to do anything that could possibly risk her life again. I can't wait to hike with her again, but I will never put her in danger again.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby AlexMack » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:06 am

Yeah I'm pretty much refreshing this at work, this is going to get amusing in a couple of hours. I give you giant balls points for coming out here. Welcome to 14ers.com, we like your dog.
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." - Evan Hardin

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:17 am

AlexMack wrote:Yeah I'm pretty much refreshing this at work, this is going to get amusing in a couple of hours. I give you giant balls points for coming out here. Welcome to 14ers.com, we like your dog.


Thank you for the support. I'll take the lashings. I'm just happy she's okay. This is all so crazy. Missy is an amazing girl. She was born in New York and lived there for three years. She's been here with me now for two years. She is very well trained and extremely loving and protecting. She is by far the most amazing dog I have ever had the privilege to own. I'm just so thankful right now. I want to see her so badly. This is very much a back from the grave thing right now, I really thought she was gone. I checked the forums here to see if there was any news and I Googled "Dog found on Bierstadt" for a few days after, but I didn't see anything. I wish I would've posted something. Now I am just glad someone else did.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:20 am

@ Alex Mack - I was reading this quote earlier as I was reading the article. Thank you for putting it up here. I can say with affirmation, that it is true.

"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." - Evan Hardin

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby 2_Salukis » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:25 am

I for one don't fault you for any decision on choosing to save yourself and your friend, while deciding to abandon your dog. It's no different than a house fire when people make sure their family members are safe before their pets. It's a dilemma I wouldn't wish on any pet owner. We're a tough crowd, love 2nd-guessing, and there are more than a few posts about how foolish people have been not to have gotten themselves off the mountains earlier when dangerous weather rolled in.

But the decisions to.....
1. get in that position in the first place (going beyond both her limits and your limits as her provider)
2. just assume she was gone (why would you even think that?)
3. not go back and look for her (did you even post Lost Dog signs at the TH?)
...were IMO extremely irresponsible and unjustifiable.

But I wasn't part of the rescue and you don't owe me squat or an explanation.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:33 am

2_Salukis wrote:I for one don't fault you for any decision on choosing to save yourself and your friend, while deciding to abandon your dog. It's no different than a house fire when people make sure their family members are safe before their pets. It's a dilemma I wouldn't wish on any pet owner. We're a tough crowd, love 2nd-guessing, and there are more than a few posts about how foolish people have been not to have gotten themselves off the mountains earlier when dangerous weather rolled in.

But the decisions to.....
1. get in that position in the first place (going beyond both her limits and your limits as her provider)
2. just assume she was gone (why would you even think that?)
3. not go back and look for her (did you even post Lost Dog signs at the TH?)
...were IMO extremely irresponsible and unjustifiable.

But I wasn't part of the rescue and you don't owe me squat or an explanation.



I agree completely. I didn't post signs at the trailhead. I don't know, it seems obvious now. I owe anyone who was concerned an explanation and an apology. Everything about this experience is humbling. As far as thinking she was gone, a mix of talking to a lot of people who were trying to help me and just stress and sadness from the whole situation. Still irresponsible, and unjustifiable. I am sorry.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby wisejared » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:51 am

We are all human and all make mistakes. Good for you for admitting yours in a setting in which you will undoubtedly hear about them over and over again. There are obvious lessons to be learned, but I hope people can find forgiveness and that you get your dog back.

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