Dog saves Mt. Hood Climbers *pic*

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    February 20, 2007 -- A loyal dog saved three climbers from an icy death after they fell from a ledge and became stranded on Oregon's Mount Hood, officials said yesterday.

    The two women and a man were rescued after surviving a brutal night huddled in sleeping bags, shielding themselves from high winds - but it was their faithful black Labrador, Velvet, who made the difference between life and death, rescuers said.

    "The dog probably saved their lives" by lying across them during the freezing night, said Erik Brom, a member of the Portland Mountain Rescue team.

    He described the wind in the canyon as "hellacious."

    "We're soaking wet and freezing," said one of two rescued women as she walked to an ambulance.

    After Velvet helped the climbers get through the night on the 11,239-foot mountain, radio transmitters the size of eyeglass cases led rescuers to the group.

    Rescuers gave the climbers food and clothing before they all walked down the east face of Oregon's highest mountain.

    The three were taken away in the ambulance, with Velvet leaping in behind them. The climbers were expected to recover.

    One of the women, whose name was withheld, was hospitalized with a head injury.

    The other two climbers were identified as Matty Bryant and Kate Hanlon, both 34 and teachers in suburban Portland.

    Authorities credited the climbers with remaining calm and using safety equipment.

    "The most important part of this . . . is that they did everything right," said local Sheriff's Department Lt. Nick Watt.

    In December, three climbers vanished on Mount Hood.

    Rescuers found one climber, Kelly James of Dallas, who died of hypothermia.

    The other two - including Brooklyn resident Jerry "Nikko" Cooke - were never found and officials believe they're dead.
  2. Yet another reason to take your dog with you everywhere you go!! Not that I'm advocating climbing Mt. Hood in the middle of February.
  3. What a great dog!!!

    I had a Border Collie cross who kept my brother and I warm when our car died on a night when it was close to -40. She instinctively knew what to do, lying over us, and remaining calm. We waited for help for three and a half hours, so we could have frozen without her.

    My brother had often complained about that dog before this happened, and I sure enjoyed hearing him tell me how great she was afterward!!! :yahoo:
  4. I loved this story when I read it. Dogs are so intuitive and amazing. My Dad was an avid mountain climber and he would take my brother and our black lab. One time my brother wandered off and our dog followed him, ran back to my dad and starting barking until he followed her. She led him right to my brother.
  5. Animals are so amazing! It's nice to hear a story with a happy ending AND a pet hero. Years ago I read about a dog who saved his family from a house fire by chewing THROUGH the wooden door to the house to wake them during the blaze...they found out he had done it a few days later when they took him to the vet because he would not eat and the vet found the inside of his mouth covered in splinters. I bet that dog wasn't left outside at night after that!