Dog Found (and saved): Mt. Bierstadt!

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

Postby Crusty » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:09 am

Whoever ends up with Missy better take good care of her, or I'm cracking skulls!!

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby kara » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:12 am

oldschoolczar wrote:Did I see the guy's boss posting a few pages back? Something about sending him on a business trip the next day.

A responsible dog owner would've called in sick and been out looking for their dog. Family > Work.

I'm not about to say anything "new" here, but this is something that's been sticking with me. I've been in a position where my feet would literally not have allowed ME, personally, to go back for my dog. It wouldn't have been safe to have me tottering around out there probably creating a whole new SAR-necessary situation. And if this was a Sunday (confirmed), and his boss sent him out of town the next day, ok, his hands are now even slightly more tied. Some might say, "he should have called in sick." Perhaps, but not every job situation would allow that particular course of action. HOWEVER, if I was physically unable to mount the rescue effort myself, AND I didn't know about this website/forum, AND I was "incapacitated" by work responsibilities, you bet your sweet behinds I still would have done SOMETHING. SOMEONE from my "camp" would have been at Guanella Pass in my absence with posters. My (non hiking) dog is FAMILY. Period. Sure, some will say, "it's only a dog," and for some that's true (and for those people I feel truly sorry). But if I was out of town? My mother would have flown in from freakin' Ohio and sat at GP in her rental car for as long as it took to beg someone to do something/anything. I know that's also not necessarily an option for some, but the point is, you do SOMETHING. There is absolutely NO indication he did anything but chalk the dog up for dead. Not cool. He knows it's not cool. I will say it definitely takes some balls to come forward and admit the mistake, but it doesn't alleviate the fact he did nothing. Abandoning the dog might not have been avoidable. Not doing something WAS avoidable.

My gut would say, "you had to make a seriously difficult decision that I hope none of the rest of us is every faced with making, and it's great that you sound sincerely sorry now, but the fact of the matter is you did nothing proactive to help your situation, therefore, you forfeit your claim on that beauty of a dog." However, as a few have pointed out, dogs are LOYAL. I guarantee you Missy wants to go home (and to her that is Anthony). Even as a dog owner myself it's always amazed me that as humans we cherish such blind, unwavering loyalty (especially when we've done nothing to earn it and/or everything to destroy it), but I think that's why dogs are so special to so many.

Dude screwed up. No question. Rescuers rock! No question. Fines and penalties for still-current owner? Absolutely. But at the end of the day the dog didn't do anything wrong and she deserves to get her life back (if you can't look at it as him getting the dog back, perhaps turn it around and realize it's about the DOG here).
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby bvhiker12 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:15 am

Having followed this tread with tears running freely for the last few days, it seems as if people have moved from true concern about an abandoned and hurt dog to seething with anger that another climber was not as competent or knowledgeable as them. Clearly Anthony is a novice climber and his friends are non climbers. Many of those who frequently post to this site are incredible athletes with no fear of heights, rocks or weather. However, many of us who are novices are not as capable nor skilled. Unfortunately, Anthony was also incredibly ignorant about how little he knew about climbing, weather, animal care, etc. Those things led him to do a stupid and callous thing that will haunt him for a long time.

However, at 29 he is still capable to having this be a life changing event. Whether he is given a chance to redeem himself with Missy and become a more knowledgeable climber and dog guardian will depend on getting Missy back. That said, he does need to make things right with the rescuers, Missy, and himself. I think he showed enormous courage to out himself this morning. He could have stayed quiet, gotten a new dog and moved on with life, but instead he stuck his neck out, well aware of the outpouring of anger and disgust that would come his way.

This site has some of the most wonderful and amazing people that frequent it. I believe it is an outstanding community of people who share a love of the mountains and outdoors. It is time to accept Anthony into the community and help him become a better dog guardian and a better climber.

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby James Dziezynski » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:17 am

I'm with shea_nb -- for those saying move on, lighten up, etc. You'll notice there's a lot of people on this forum with photos of their dogs. They are our family. We are loyal to them. And strange as it may seem, the injustice, cruelty and indifference of Anthony is not something easily forgotten. 8 days, dude, 192 hours. Maybe he's the great brother, dutiful worker and good dad the character witnesses have ranted about but he's an awfully inexperienced hiker and a terrible dog owner.
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:17 am

As Fletch has said a few times now, it's a happy ending. Whether Missy ends up back with Anthony or in the care of a new owner, she's alive. Kudos to the rescuers and the prior search parties.

I can empathize with Tony's situation on Aug. 5. None of us were there. If he and a younger person (child?) were in real danger, they made the right decision to leave the dog and take care of themselves. I'm not sure I buy the full story of Tony's efforts that day (I question whether ropes were used and just how "injured" he was), and the blisters excuse is lame. But how many of you Monday Morning Quarterbacks would have done much different? My buddy and I carried a 40-50 pound dog out of Lost Rat Couloir and down the Class 1 Grays trail last year. It's not easy. Asking an inexperienced (six 14ers does not equal "he wasn't a rookie!!!!") person to carry an 80-120 pound German Shepherd down loose Class 2/3 terrain mostly by himself in a storm is dangerous and foolish. The rescuers did roughly the same thing, but there were many of them and I'd wager they had much more experience than Tony. I'm not going out on a huge limb to assume it was his first Class 3.

My defense of the owner ends there. If he cared about his dog so much, he wouldn't have sat idle for a week. He would have gone to the TH, contacted the news, continued pestering SAR crews, posted here and on other sites, etc. Business trip? Call in sick. Blisters? Man the hell up; blisters are painful, but they're far from crippling. You thought Missy was dead? Either you're the laziest person I've ever heard of or you don't truly love your dog.

As much as I question Tony's integrity for his actions the past week, Missy is rightfully his and there's not much anyone can do about that. Give the man his dog back. In his few posts here he's made me confident he's at least learned his lesson, and maybe he'll keep his dog off Class 3 terrain in the future.
Last edited by SurfNTurf on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby climb4 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:19 am

HuskyRunner wrote:
Forgive me if I seem extremely harsh here but I find the claims that Anthony is a responsible dog lover to be dubious. Missy was at 100 pounds yesterday when we carried her off the mountain after losing 10% of her body weight spending eight days laying alone in a talus field ~ 12,500 feet with him taking virtually no action to save, by his own admission he left her there to die. At the time he took her up the Sawtooth Missy was possibly 20 to 30 pounds overweight, experience with over 10 years in Dog Rescue and caring for 100+ dogs tells me Missy should ideally weigh around 80 pounds. Missy's nails were a bit on the long side and given her highly damaged pads she obviously was not used to walking the given terrain. To me he didn't have his dog's health in mind by letting her get fat, didn't have his dog's health and well being in mind when he decided to take her on a 3rd class route she obviously wasn't in condition to do, and finally didn't have his dog's welfare in mind when he left her there to die.

Talking to Alpine Rescue after we got back one of the members told me of an incident they were involved in at Herman Lake. Alpine Rescue was called to evacuate a St. Bernard from the lake after it had broken it's spine and the owner refused to leave the area for days to stay with his hurt dog. Staying by your injured dog and giving it what comfort and care you can is responsible ownership.

Years ago while mountain biking with one of our dogs I went over the handle bars and shattered my wrist. Despite being in pain one of my first actions was to put my dog an leash so she would be safe on the 6 mile walk back to the car. Keeping your dog's welfare in mind despite other concerns is responsible ownership.

Plenty of responders to this forum have commented on being prepared when hiking with your dog by carrying booties, pain meds, (aspirin), water, and any other needs your animal may have, good advice and responsible dog ownership. We put booties on Missy when we got to her and given that despite still having bleeding pads she was trotting down half the mountain without too much difficulty. Even after eight days starving in an alpine environment all she needed was a little help and care in getting her off the mountain. Had she been carried down to Abyss Lake, given some aspirin and dog booties I believe she could have gotten out via Scott Gomer and Burning Bear rather than being left to die.

We actually discussed evacuating Missy via Scott Gomer but discounted believing she was in worse condition that she really was. We took her out of the backpack because she was squirming and wanted her to stretch a little after being cramped for several hours. We were quite pleasantly surprised to see how well she got around on her own. I've had plenty of occasions where one of my own dogs got relief from a cut pad with just some pain med and a bootie, I'm fairly certain that eight days ago Missy could have gotten out with just a little bit of care, yet you carried her down a little bit and then left her to die.

The spot we found Missy was several hundred feet below the crossover on the Sawtooth, 1000 ft below the summit of Bierstadt, a spot that wasn't terribly likely to experience a lighting strike, sure, possible but likely. Having two people one of you could have easily stayed with Missy while the other went for help, sure, burning bear was 8 miles from where you were but a little walk is better than leaving your dog to die alone on a mountain side.

It was mentioned that some hunters gave you directions, did you consider asking them for help in getting Missy down?

Even in the event that I couldn't carry out one of my own dogs (unlikely because I have always considered being forced to prior to any trip) I would have attempted to enlist family, friends, acquaintances, hired help, whatever it took to get my dog back home. I would never have left my beloved friend and companion to die alone on a cold hillside. That eight total strangers were more willing than you to hike a short 4 miles in crappy weather to rescue a dog we didn't even know speaks volumes to me about your lack of commitment to care for Missy.

Given that you didn't take Missy's welfare in mind before taking her into the mountains, weren't willing to stay with her during her ordeal, didn't go back to provide her some comfort or attempt to get her out yourself (blisters, give me a freaking break), and apparently didn't do much of anything to save your dog prior to yesterday leaves me to say the following: You'll get Missy back when you pry her out of my cold dead hands!

BTW, I don't have her and do not know where she is at the moment.

Well said. =D>

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby screeman57 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:21 am

James Dziezynski wrote:I'm with shea_nb -- for those saying move on, lighten up, etc. You'll notice there's a lot of people on this forum with photos of their dogs. They are our family. We are loyal to them. And strange as it may seem, the injustice, cruelty and indifference of Anthony is not something easily forgotten. 8 days, dude, 192 hours. Maybe he's the great brother, dutiful worker and good dad the character witnesses have ranted about but he's an awfully inexperienced hiker and a terrible dog owner.

New movie idea: "192 hours"
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:22 am

screeman57 wrote:
James Dziezynski wrote:I'm with shea_nb -- for those saying move on, lighten up, etc. You'll notice there's a lot of people on this forum with photos of their dogs. They are our family. We are loyal to them. And strange as it may seem, the injustice, cruelty and indifference of Anthony is not something easily forgotten. 8 days, dude, 192 hours. Maybe he's the great brother, dutiful worker and good dad the character witnesses have ranted about but he's an awfully inexperienced hiker and a terrible dog owner.

New movie idea: "192 hours"

Animal Planet is already out scouting locations and contacting the Dog Actors Guild for headshots.
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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby alpenglow » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:24 am

Thanks for the great photos of Missy's rescue. Thanks go out to the determined recuerers, you guys and gals are awesome!!!

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby suesue2222 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:27 am

dogs give unconditional love and deserve to get it back. unconditional means NO EXCUSES or LAME JUSTIFICATIONS (like waiting for blisters to heal, then incorrectly assuming she's PROBABLY already dead). unconditional love would have FORCED your sore feet back up there til they were bleeding like Missy's were and continue on anyway to save her life. if you were truly physically unable to do it yourself and couldn't even find family or friends willing to step up (strange, by the way!), then offer to pay others to do it for you. sorry - it's not rocket science.

there are the type of people who are self-proclaimed animal lovers and dump their loyal pets at animal shelters because they had to move or were somehow otherwise inconvenienced. on the other hand, there are people who found it physically impossible to concentrate on their own lives knowing a dog was suffering up there alone. they couldn't sit back - even with bad weather moving in.

Missy deserves a loyal companion and protector with a higher degree of love for her than you could muster up. actions speak much louder than words.

his sister says, "She chewed up his house. She peed on his floors. She was a 'bitch' to train." that's the description of a normal, healthy puppy. he is not a superhero for training his puppy. that's just what a puppy owner is supposed to do! how is that even relevant?

his family and friends are coming out of the woodwork to get him his dog back. why weren't they rescuing - or at the very least, hiring capable rescuers?

thank you to everyone who has shown real empathy and compassion for this dog when she needed it!

Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby mtsuji » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:30 am

I just found this thread, no comment on where the dog should go but I love the pictures of the dog in the backpack. Good work guys!

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Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!

Postby davebks » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:30 am

Fletch wrote:I feel like Bill is in some back room flipping the switch that says "emergency power" - something like the utility company when Clark Griswold gets his Christmas lights to work in Christmas Vacation.

The little lights aren't twinkling...

Eddie: [talking about Snots, Eddie's dog] If you scratch his belly Clark, he'll love you till the day you die.
Clark: I really shouldn't, Eddie, my hands are all chapped.


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