A German Shepherd-Chow mix dog named Molé is credited with saving a hiker, known so far only as Paul, who slipped while climbing on Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside, California, and was wedged between boulders where he could not be seen or heard.
Molé was hiking with his owner, Ramon Llamas, when he found the severely dehydrated 44 year-old man who had slipped 200 feet down a steep slope and was not visible to the hundreds of people who had passed by on the paved hiking trails that lace the area, the Riverside Press Telegram reported.
Llamas said he was hiking with Molé up a steep incline on a path that shoots off from Mount Rubidoux’s main path. It was about 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 25, when the 1-year-old dog began whimpering and insisting that Llamas come to a cluster of boulders.
Llamas said at first he thought Molé had found a large animal, but then he heard the man’s voice calling for help.
“He said, ‘Please don’t leave me. Help me,’” Llamas told the Press Enterprise. “He was very skinny. It looked like he was trying to dig out with his hand for days.” The man told Llamas that he thought he’d been trapped for four to six days.
Llamas gave Paul a bottle of water, then a second bottle he’d brought for Molé. Then he went back to the main road and flagged down other hikers, asking them to call 911for a rescue crew.
One fireman later described that there were three boulders that surrounded a small opening and, because he was slender, Paul had slid down into an area shaped like a funnel and was held standing upright but with no way to climb out. It took firefighters about an hour to free him from his location between the rocks.
He was then hoisted into a rescue litter and transported down the mountain in the back of a pickup truck to a waiting ambulance. His blue jeans and white tennis shoes were left in the rocks, the Press Enterprise reports.
Given his dazed and severely dehydrated condition, rescuers said it was hard to tell how much time had passed, but they believe he could have been stuck in this very isolated area for up to five days. It did not appear that the man had any food or water with him, officials said.
Paul was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was reported resting and listed in good condition on Monday afternoon, according to hospital spokeswoman Cheri Russell.
“He wanted to thank the family and the dog that rescued him for saving his lifem” Russell said.
Llamas said friends have told him Molé was likely to save a life someday. Speaking with a heavy accent and a warm, proud smile he said, “My dog climbs rocks and people say someday he’s going to find somebody. Today he did.”
Source: The Press Enterpise