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Brave Dog Survives Alone For 72 Days After Tragic Loss



Quick Smiles:

  • Finney, a Jack Russell Terrier, survives 72 days alone in the Colorado mountains after her owner’s death.
  • The loyal dog was found by her late owner’s side, having lost half her body weight but still fiercely protective.
  • Finney is now recovering well, regaining her lost weight and becoming a local celebrity on hiking trails.

Finney, a faithful Jack Russell Terrier, has managed to survive 72 days alone in the Colorado mountains after her owner tragically passed away due to hypothermia. The loyal dog was found by her late owner’s side, having endured the harsh conditions and defying the odds.

The 71-year-old resident of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Rich Moore, went on a hiking adventure with Finney on August 19, aiming to conquer Blackhead Peak. Unfortunately, he never made it back home, prompting a days-long search that ultimately ended when a hunter discovered Moore’s body and a fiercely protective Finney in the San Juan Mountains on October 30.

Despite being a seasoned hiker, Moore succumbed to hypothermia, which can cause disorientation and confusion. However, little Finney managed to survive, likely by hunting small animals like mice and avoiding predators such as mountain lions, coyotes, and bears. Delinda VanneBrightyn from Taos Search and Rescue said, “If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story. We probably could not even believe the story the dog would tell.”

Finney had lost about half of her body weight, with her ribs visibly showing. However, in less than three weeks after being found, there’s already a glimmer of hope for her recovery. Dana Holby, Moore’s wife, shared that Finney is doing remarkably well, nearly regaining all her lost weight and approaching her pre-ordeal strength. This has earned her the endearing title of the “miracle dog.”

Finney’s incredible survival story has turned her into a local celebrity on the hiking trails around Pagosa Springs. Passersby often recognize her and ask, “Is that Finney?” to which Holby responds with enthusiastic affirmation. Reflecting on Finney’s unwavering loyalty, Holby said, “I know that she was with Rich to the very end, and somehow that should be a comfort. I don’t know how she did it, but she was there when he needed her.”