A hiker scaling a Washington state volcano slipped on ice, tumbled more than 300 feet into boulders and survived — while her German Shepherd never left her side, licking the blood off her hands and waiting five hours for rescuers to arrive.
“He was my first responder essentially,” Brittany Fintel told KATU-TV about her 7-year-old service dog, Indy. “He made sure that I wasn’t in shock. He laid beside me, he licked me, he was extremely comforting.”
The Navy veteran had planned to climb to the 8,663-foot summit of Mount St. Helena on Saturday morning when she lost her footing and slid 388-feet before coming to rest at another steep drop-off.
“The moment I slipped, I literally thought I was dead,” she said. “I was just expecting that this was the end.”
“I could’ve been going for quite some time,” she added. “It was pretty much a miracle.”
In the drop, she went flying over rocks, hitting her left temple.
“Indy ran down immediately,” she wrote in a Facebook post about the ordeal. “Once he got to me he started to lick my face as well as all the blood off my hands. He stayed right by my side the whole time! Providing a sense of comfort and security until help arrived.”
A group of 10 hikers witnessed the fall, and one man who said he was a nurse reached her with medical supplies and bandaged her lacerations to stop the gushing blood.
About five hours later, the Coast Guard rescued Fintel by helicopter and brought her to the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital.
“I said ‘Oh crap, I’m being saved by Coasties,” Fintel joked.
As Fintel recovers, her loyal pup still hasn’t left her side, even sleeping at the foot of her hospital bed.
“Mountains are dangerous things,” she said. “I just feel like I underestimated it.”
Published at Wed, 18 Jul 2018 22:16:15 +0000