Brave Hiker Carries Injured Dog Down 6 Miles Of Treacherous Mountain

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A heroic woman carried an injured dog down six miles down a treacherous mountain and gained a grateful furry family member.

Tia Vargas was exploring Table Rock near the Grand Tetons last month. She hit the 11,106-foot peak and was headed down to meet her father when she came upon a hiking family who had an injured English Springer Spaniel with them. The hikers were trying to find the dog’s owner, and Vargas, who is from Idaho Falls, Idaho, said that she told them he wasn’t hers.

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She could tell he was injured, though, but he looked like he was loved so she believed he was someone’s and out of place. The hikers were hoping to get up the mountain, and so Vargas made a heroic decision: she was going to get the dog to the bottom of the mountain on her own.

She picked the 55-pound dog up and hung him around her shoulders, hiking a mile down the mountain and meeting up with her father, 76-year-old Ted Kasper. Her dad was also on his way to the summit, but resting, and couldn’t believe his daughter had made the hike with a hurt, heavy dog. He insisted he go back down with Vargas.

She had no idea that snow had made an easier trail back down much more difficult, and two different times, the trio got lost and were on the wrong side of the river. The terrain was so rough at one point, she had to put the dog, who she later learned was named, “Boomer,” in her lap as she slid on her bottom to forge out a way to the trail. As if that wasn’t enough, it then began to rain as they descended.

Vargas said that at many points, she didn’t think she could carry Boomer, she was in so much pain. She couldn’t believe that she would possibly have to leave him behind, and worried about his safety. She said a silent prayer and then got instant motivation coming to her telling her to do make it happen for the dog’s safety. She knew she was literally Boomer’s only hope, and she felt like she’d been propelled by angels.

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Boomer was injured and hunger, and Vargas and her father shared what meager rations they had with him, saying they were thankful they could comfort him even a little as they made it down. When they finally got to the bottom of the trail, they found a note that Boomer’s owners had left and called them.

Boomer’s owners said that they’d been hiking for the Fourth of July holiday with Boomer when he left the trail and fell at least a 100 feet down into a snowy crevice. They went to get him, but he was gone by the time they got there, and they assumed he was so injured, he’d found a bush somewhere to hide in and die. Vargas said the family was in tears, as they loved Boomer and were heartbroken he’d disappeared.

The very thankful owners had planned to give Boomer to a man who was looking for Boomer to be his hunting dog, but after learning about what Vargas went through to save the sweet boy, they said they couldn’t think of a better place for him to be than with her. He needed treatment for a dislocated foot and torn ligaments, but Vargas says that though she hasn’t had a dog in 15 years, she knew Boomer was meant to be part of her family now. She said she believes that they both had guardian angels watching them and Boomer was destined for her.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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