A Dog Left to Die on the Mountain

A German Shepherd is found at 13,000 feet, and rescued after surviving seven nights in the cold. How did she get there, and what happened to her owner?

  1. Two men struggle with a dog. The rocks are large and unstable, her paws are shredded, and a storm is coming. They lower her from boulder to boulder. Each time she touches down, she lands in pain. The clouds are growing, and now she doesn’t move. So one man drapes her across his shoulders. He jumps from boulder to boulder on blistered feet, and he drops her. They give her the last of their water. Then, they leave.

    She couldn’t walk, but she could wait. At first, for her owner, then for the couple that found her on the verge of death—and vowed to bring her down the mountain alive. They returned expecting to carry her the entire way. She refused. After surviving eight days and seven nights alone at 13,000 feet, Missy traveled the final miles of Mt. Bierstadt as she had climbed them—under her own power.

    Missy is now called Lucky. And she is a celebrity. But in the early hours after Scott and Amanda Washburn found her, she was just a nameless German Shepherd with paws more like bloody rib...

The complete text of “A Dog Left to Die on the Mountain” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.outsideonline.com.

Originally published in Outside, November 2012

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