Woman That Stumbles Upon Injured Dog Miles From Civilization Is Forced To Make A Tough Decision

For Tia Vargas, hiking was more about recreation than survival. Her biggest challenges were usually limited to overcoming sore muscles, battling a dry mouth, or treating the odd scrape or bruise. But on a hike in July of 2018, she faced a new and completely unexpected challenge.

When this veteran hiker came across an animal in dire need of rescue, she decided she would do anything to bring the creature back to safety — even if it meant putting her own safety on the line. But Tia knew she had to take her journey one step at a time because danger lurked at every turn…

Tia Vargas is not the type of person who likes to stay cooped up indoors. The Idaho resident, pictured below on the left, is an avid runner and hiker. Every chance she gets, Tia likes to push herself up some mountain path or scenic trail.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

In July of 2018, Tia headed out with her 76-year-old father, Ted, to undertake her latest expedition. While there were two passengers in the car driving out to the park, however, there would not be two on the return trip.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

The father and daughter set out to scale Table Rock, which rose 11,106 feet above sea level. Ted’s pace was understandably slower than his daughter’s, so he told her to go ahead while he made the climb at his own pace. Tia continued alone.

Wikimedia Commons / Kencf0618

As Tia reached the summit, two other hikers passing by asked Tia if she lost her dog and pointed to a nearby English Springer Spaniel. They left the scene as Tia approached the pup. He looked pretty beat up, and wore a collar with the name “Boomer.”

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Later that afternoon, Ted spotted his daughter coming back down from the top of Table Rock. But as she came into focus, he noticed something was off about Tia’s silhouette. Did she gain weight? Had she gotten a new haircut? No, Ted realized — Tia was carrying a 55-pound dog on her shoulders.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Laughing in disbelief, Ted asked Tia if she was going to carry the dog down the entire mountain. Tia filled her dad in on Boomer’s dire condition and suggested they take the easier trail back to their car. From there, they could quickly get the dog some medical attention and contact his owners. Things did not go as planned.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Although this route had mild elevation changes compared to the park’s other trails, it was in poor condition. Tia and Ted encountered icy downhill patches, where they had to slide down on their butts to avoid slipping and tumbling down the mountainside.

In other places, fallen branches and debris blocked the path. Ted lacked the strength to both complete the trek and carry Boomer, so Tia had to haul the dog over all these obstacles all by herself. Halfway through, she wasn’t sure if she could make it.

David Calhoun

Nevertheless, Tia summoned the strength to go on. She explained, “I said a prayer and literally felt that somebody walked up behind me and lifted the dog off my shoulders. I felt that my ancestors or God sent me angels to help me carry that dog because it’s like the weight was gone off my neck.”

Facebook / Tia Vargas

At long last, Tia and her companions made it back to their car and found a note posted on a trail sign about a lost dog. Before they could reach out to Boomer’s potential owners, however, Tia and Boomer had to focus on recovering from such a harrowing trip.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Tia had just completed the workout of her life. She said that her legs were “shaky and felt like Jello,” and rough terrain inflicted scratches and bruises all over her body. Of course, she was in fine shape compared to Boomer.

Judging from the dog’s limp and sluggishness, Boomer required immediate medical care. Veterinarians determined that the pooch was dealing with multiple torn ligaments and severe dehydration.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Once doctors gave Boomer the necessary dose of medication and wrapped his injured legs up in casts, Tia took him home to oversee his recovery. Of course, she also felt obligated to find his original family. She dialed the phone number on the note from Table Rock.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Fortunately, Tia got a hold of the Pattersons, Boomer’s owners, and right away they explained how the dog got separated. Boomer stepped in a crevice, lost his balance, and fell off the side of a cliff. He dropped 100 feet down until he hit the ground. Then Boomer tumbled down for another 200 feet!

Boston.com

The Pattersons desperately searched for their dog, but they couldn’t find a trace of him. All signs indicated that he was gone. For any creature — dog or human — to survive that fall, they figured it would take a true miracle.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Tia invited the Pattersons to come to visit Boomer as the dog recovered. They were all thrilled to see the pooch relatively safe and sound, but they didn’t come just to check on his progress. The Patterson family also dropped some bombshell news on Tia.

Facebook / Boomer the miracle dog

They wanted Tia to keep Boomer. The Pattersons got Boomer as a hunting dog, but after the dog suffered torn ligaments and other long-term injuries, he wouldn’t be an effective retriever. They knew Boomer was better off as a normal family dog with Tia and her kids.

At first, Tia was hesitant about taking Boomer away from the only family he knew. But once she saw how much her kids bonded with Boomer, Tia realized that her home was the best possible place for the dog to stay.

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Once Tia shared images of the harrowing rescue online, Boomer became a media sensation. Tia and her new canine companion made the rounds on the talk show circuit to share the tale of their incredible descent and keep fans updated on Boomer’s recovery.

Facebook / Boomer the miracle dog

By the end of 2018, Boomer had his own Facebook page with thousands of fans, but his real treasure was his new family. For a dog that was dying at the top of the mountain, he couldn’t have asked for a better home than this. 

Facebook / Tia Vargas

Tia went above and beyond in saving Boomer, but what else was a true animal lover to do?

Share this inspiring rescue story with your friends below!

Recommended From Honest To Paws

Stay up to date on the
latest trending stories!

like our facebook page!