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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 tbaileymd » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:28 am

It takes guts to stand up in the bright glare of one's mistakes, poor decisions, and catastrophic failures.

It sounds like the owner met up with the same resistance from law enforcement and rescue personnel that others on here did. But still-- to have not gone back up with food, water, and at least a blanket for the dog? I don't get it.

At least Missy is safe and on the mend. I don't doubt the owner's remorse. I don't doubt that he will never let this happen again. And the dog will want her human back-- that's just their nature. Still-- there's some vital piece of the owner's awareness or sense of responsibility that was missing when his dog needed it most. Her survival hinged on him not wallowing in helplessness about the whole thing, and instead making something happen. Improbably, dumb luck and the heroic effort of strangers ended up saving her a week later instead.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt! Help get her home!

Postby 21kmiller » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:29 am

Hey 14er friends! My name is Kristen and I know the owner to this precious dog that was found over the weekend on Bierstadt/Evans trail... her name is Missy and I am good friends with her owner, Anthony Ortolani. I have know him for longer than 10 years and have known Missy since she was just a puppy!! Anthony was devestated when he called me to tell me he had to make a life or death decision when he went hiking with a friend and got caught in a storm. Anthony, his friend and Missy took a couple falls and tried their very best to get Missy down. Being hurt after their fall, they tried to carry Missy down and lower her with rope, it came time that things were getting bad with injuries and weather and he had no choice at that particular moment but to make the worst decision ANY dog owner would have to make. He called me immediately when he got down the mountain and told me what happened, he tried to call every search and rescue pleading to go back up and get her and they wouldnt help. He himself was in bad shape with blisters all over his feet not being able to walk for a few days, he did not think that Missy would still be alive after a few days up there let alone a week later! It truly is miracle and I am pleading with everyone here to let her get back to to her home!! With her loving caring owner, Anthony!

Anthony was not a rookie at 14ers and neither was Missy, they have done 6 here in CO together and all of them were succcessful!! She is off leash trained and really is a wonderful dog! I really hope everyone on here can find it in their heart to return Missy to Anthony where she belongs! If anyone would like to discuss this with me I wil be more than happy to talk to you 303-501-6113 Thank you to the amazing hikers that found Missy and organized the group to get her down, words cannot express the gratefulness I feel for that group, for Missy, and for Anthony... now can we all work together to get her back home!! =) =)

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby evepin » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:35 am

SolarAlex wrote:so you leave the dog for 8 days, dont do anything, dont try to go back with friends to get her, nada. just leave her there to die a slow, miserable death. seems reasonable.

now you want the dog back...after all the effort we went through to get the dog off the mountain, i dont think i can support giving her back to you. sorry, but i would hate to see this dog go back to someone who so callously left her on the side of the mountain and then did NOTHING for over a week.

i could forgive you leaving the dog bc of weather or inability to move her, but why didnt you go back with your friends? why did you do nothing? just abandoning her is unforgivable


To abandon an injured dog in these conditions, and not even go back to look for her, is animal abuse - aside from the lashing from this group, aortolani14 would be lucky if he isn't formally charged with abuse and reckless endangerment. Someone in this group can surely provide Missy with a better home and partner.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby thetoddman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:37 am

hvolmer wrote:
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.



I'm glad you said this, because it makes good sense. I can't come up with another explanation that doesn't break my heart.

That being said, when I encountered her and the two men with her, they were a long way from what I would consider dog-friendly terrain (the top of Bierstadt .) It took me an hour (of albeit disorganized climbing) to get down to where I met them. It would have been a hell of a ramble for a dog chasing after a critter to be all the way down there if she bolted from the top. If they were hiking that with her: shame.

I think that they were over their head and made a terrible decision to leave her. I certainly would have helped them out had I detected a problem, or had they asked. It was enough work getting my own butt out of there. Carrying an exhausted, large dog would be brutal.

Why two people would together choose to leave her, I cannot understand. One person, maybe. But two? That seems double-cruel. I really hope there is a good explanation.



It is also worth noting that the 'owner' and his friend were still within conversational earshot of a third hiker when they decided to abandon Missy. hvolmer in an earlier post said he heard them say they were gonna bail off the sawtooth and the 'owner' used the same description in describing their decision point. So there were at least three humans in the area at the time.

I was the first to suggest in this thread that it might not be a good idea to seek out such an irresponsible dog owner (based on hvolmers posts up to that time) and I've not heard much to change my mind. ALL of the decisions and facts (before, during, and after the decision to abandon her) point to this for me.

Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt! Help get her home!

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:38 am

21kmiller wrote:Hey 14er friends! My name is Kristen and I know the owner to this precious dog that was found over the weekend on Bierstadt/Evans trail... her name is Missy and I am good friends with her owner, Anthony Ortolani. I have know him for longer than 10 years and have known Missy since she was just a puppy!! Anthony was devestated when he called me to tell me he had to make a life or death decision when he went hiking with a friend and got caught in a storm. Anthony, his friend and Missy took a couple falls and tried their very best to get Missy down. Being hurt after their fall, they tried to carry Missy down and lower her with rope, it came time that things were getting bad with injuries and weather and he had no choice at that particular moment but to make the worst decision ANY dog owner would have to make. He called me immediately when he got down the mountain and told me what happened, he tried to call every search and rescue pleading to go back up and get her and they wouldnt help. He himself was in bad shape with blisters all over his feet not being able to walk for a few days, he did not think that Missy would still be alive after a few days up there let alone a week later! It truly is miracle and I am pleading with everyone here to let her get back to to her home!! With her loving caring owner, Anthony!

Anthony was not a rookie at 14ers and neither was Missy, they have done 6 here in CO together and all of them were succcessful!! She is off leash trained and really is a wonderful dog! I really hope everyone on here can find it in their heart to return Missy to Anthony where she belongs! If anyone would like to discuss this with me I wil be more than happy to talk to you 303-501-6113 Thank you to the amazing hikers that found Missy and organized the group to get her down, words cannot express the gratefulness I feel for that group, for Missy, and for Anthony... now can we all work together to get her back home!! =) =)


So blisters on his feet gave him the right to just give up on his dog? And blisters on his feet stopped him from having his friends go up and find Missy? Blisters on his feet stopped him from driving to the TH and asking other hikers to keep an eye out or put up flyers? When the 14ers.com group contacted SAR, if he had already contacted them, then why didn't SAR put the 14ers.com group in touch with Anthony? His explanation seems very fishy and quite frankly I don't think you got the real story from him. Maybe I am way off base here, but blisters seem like a lame excuse and I don't feel he should get his dog back since he had given up on the dog so easily and seemingly didn't try very hard and left her for dead.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt! Help get her home!

Postby Dex » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:39 am

21kmiller wrote:Hey 14er friends! My name is Kristen and I know the owner to this precious dog that was found over the weekend on Bierstadt/Evans trail... her name is Missy and I am good friends with her owner, Anthony Ortolani.


How old is Anthony?
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby Leigh » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:41 am

SolarAlex wrote:
i could forgive you leaving the dog bc of weather or inability to move her, but why didnt you go back with your friends? why did you do nothing? just abandoning her is unforgivable


Agreed. The owner walked away and never looked back.

I foster dogs while they wait for adoption so I've seen a few bounced from home to home - it takes a while, but they warm up to their new surroundings - dogs just want someone to love them and look out for them. Missy will eventually settle in with her new owners and never look back.
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby EatinHardtack » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:48 am

And Missy had cuts on her feet as well. I've had blisters and for my dog I'd at least go back and try.

I feel that the owner should spend 8 days and nights on the sawtooth himself without water, food, shelter. Then I would advocate that he has earned a slight chance to get her back. Sorry but the owner left her for dead. I would not have, even in pain I would have found friends, searched for help, posted signs, something.
Last edited by EatinHardtack on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:50 am

I'm torn. I feel for you and your situation as it unfolded; like a few have said here - in the situation of a house fire or some other such event, a decision may have to be made internally (in your mind) to survive the situation, hopefully the animal can find it's way out but essentially it's an "each to their own abilities" scenario. It's not a nice thought, and tears you up inside, but it happens.

That's where my sympathy ends... when you left it in the hands of strangers to resolve your problem while you essentially wiped your hands of the situation and concluded with an "oh well." The real frustrating thing for me is the dog will not comprehend that you abandoned her, left her for dead. The next time she sees you she'll react with excitement never knowing that for 7-8 days you were already into planning the next part of your life without her.

I'm no longer torn, just disgusted.
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby evepin » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:50 am

its_not_a_tuba wrote:I can't believe that poor dog was up there for a week. That is just heartbreaking. What is even worse is how many people hiked right by this poor animal, saw her and took no action? Obviously there had to be a lot, she could not have lived that long without support from passers by.


I was involved this spring in a dog search and rescue in the Eagle wilderness area - the dog was found alive 13 days later, dehydrated and 20 lbs lighter, but otherwise fine. It's amazing what dogs can do - they have an amazing will to live and keen survival skills.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby Built-to-Last » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:53 am

If either of my dogs had to be left on the mountain for whatever reason, I would go back everyday to find my dogs, they are part of my family and the thought of them dying alone, cold, hungry on the side of the mountain is almost to difficult to even think about. I just dont understand.
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby speth » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:54 am

Thread saved, renamed "Can my dog handle the class three ridge on Mt ________?"

This whole story is curious. Seems like the timeline runs something like;

Hiking Sawtooth with friend and dog.
Weather moves in, dog is injured, abandon attempt and leave dog.
Make it back to civilization, call authorities and SAR for pet.
SAR declines rescue operation for pet.
Leave dog to its fate.
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Collect dog.

Why come back now and plead the story trying to get the dog back? Wouldn't it have been easier to just fade away and let the rescuers adopt or foster the dog? Seems like a lot of face saving, were they going to track down who owns the dog from the shots tags registration?
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