Hiking is a bonding activity that Tia Vargas, a single mom of three from Idaho, looks forward to every year. Annually, she makes it a point to schedule a hiking trip with her 76-year-old father during summer time. This father and daughter duo decided to hike at Table Rock at the Grand Tetons. Both were excited to have another adventure in their books, but little did they know that this summer trip is one that they will never forget.
After reaching the summit of the 11,106-foot Table Rock, Tia went on her way towards her father who was waiting for her about a mile down the trail. It is during this time that she came across another group of hikers who seemed a bit distraught. It turned out that these people were from a family of hikers and were looking for the owner of an injured English springer spaniel who got lost in the mountains.
Having children in their group, the family who found the lost spaniel knew that they might not be able to do what’s necessary to find the dog’s owner. Tia figured it would be easier if she took the responsibility and offered to bring the dog to safety.
It was a decision that changed this injured dog’s life forever.
However, taking responsibility of the dog meant that she had to walk for more than 6 miles and about 6 hours while carrying the pup on her back! She was aware of the difficulty of what she was about to do, but she chose to do what’s right, thinking that someone might be desperately looking for the dog at that moment.
The English spaniel weighed 55 pounds, making it more challenging for Tia to accomplish the task of bringing the animal to safety. Still, she was determined to give the dog medical attention and safety so she went and got the pup over her shoulders and proceeded on her way down the trail.
A father’s humor goes a long way.
When Ted Kasper, Tia’s dad, saw that his daughter was carrying a dog on her back, he decided to take some pictures of her as she was going down the path. Along the way, Tia had to bring the dog down to get some rest and carry him on again so they can get the help that the dog needed badly.
Ted’s presence all throughout Tia’s descent while carrying the dog made her even stronger and determined to complete her mission. Despite the slowly increasing exhaustion and pain on her shoulders, Tia kept on and did not back down just to get the lost pup to safety.
At one point, Tia considered to just stop and give up. She was in pain and her legs were shaking because of trying to control her steps to avoid further incidents as she walked down the trail. But, because of her supportive father who made her laugh along the way, Tia felt a renewed vigor enough to enervate her until her task is completed.
All she needed was divine intervention.
When the rain came, Tia knew everything from that moment on would be doubly difficult. Her determination and genuine concern for the animal in need came through which allowed her to push herself more and move forwards towards bringing the dog to safety. She was almost on the verge of giving up, but she fought it and continued on.
She was afraid that if she gave up, the dog’s only chance to survival will be lost and the poor pup could die. In all this, Tia realized that only prayer for strength to carry on is what she needed at that moment.
“I said a little prayer at that point because the way he was hurting my neck, I had a really bad headache. My legs just felt like they were gonna crumble at any moment. And as I said that prayer, I literally felt the whole weight lift off of my shoulders and I thought, okay there must be a lost hiker that’s behind me helping me. So I turned around, probably five or six times looking for someone, and there’s nobody there,” Tia said.
She realized that it might be the divine intervention she was looking for. With renewed strength and believing that she can do it, Tia went on and finally reached the bottom of the trail around 6 PM.
After finally finished the 6-hour trek she was able to find out the dog’s real name.
Upon finishing her 6-hour trek with the dog, Tia found that there were actually people looking for the lost dog. They found out through a missing sign posted by the owners of the dog, whose name was actually Boomer.
When Tia contacted the owners, she learned that apparently, Boomer wandered off and lost his footing when he walked out onto s 100-foot crevice in the snow. The dog might have rolled down and got injured causing his left front paw to limp.
The owners actually stayed until dark while searching for Boomer. Fearing the worst, they decided to go to Arizona which was their original plan. Tia also learned that they were about to sell Boomer to a person looking for a hunting dog before the incident happened.
Tia knew they crossed paths for a reason.
Tia knew that there was a reason behind everything that has happened. She crossed paths with Boomer because God had planned for them to meet. After all that they have been through, Tia was sure that Boomer did not belong to anybody but her.
She asked the owners if she could have Boomer as a new member of her family, and the owners definitely agreed that the dog deserved to be with her. What she experienced as she was braving bad weather and treacherous paths just to save Boomer was all worth it when she found a new family member in him.
After his treatment for his torn ligaments and dislocated foot, Boomer went home to his new mom and they are more than happy to be spending great times with each other.
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