Aniki, a Rottweiler mix, spent 29 days wandering lost on Mount Seymour and survived.
This four-year-old dog was found hungry and 25 pounds thinner but in good spirits by a hiker. The good Samaritan gave Aniki some pets and notified a maintenance worker on the mountain about the dog.
The worker paged North Shore Search and Rescue crews, who headed up the mountain and led Aniki down with a piece of rope.
Nam Hoang had been hiking with Aniki and his Staffordshire terrier, Yuki, on June 30 when he became lost and headed east down a decommissioned ski trail. The area is bordered by steep canyons, thickly wooded terrain and waterfalls and is not used for regular hikes or skiing.
Aniki, who had previously been hit by a car and underwent an $11,000 operation to have a metal pin put in his left hip, struggled to keep up and lay down at the top of the ridge.
Hoang was also worried about his own health because he recently had a lung transplant surgery. He left Aniki on the ridge, while he and Yuki continued the rest of the 2 mile journey down the slope. Hoang also had to camp a night in the woods before hiking the rest of way.
When he got down the next day, Hoang asked his two friends to find Aniki. Unfortunately, they were not successful. A search for Aniki was organized. Volunteers spent hundreds of hours looking for him.
From Times Colonist:
North Shore Search and Rescue crews spent three days looking for Aniki in the dense brush. A helicopter company scoured the area for free even though Hoang offered to pay for it.
Susie Ranson, a North Vancouver RCMP dispatcher, and her husband Mike, went out every day to search for Aniki, while Jones [a search and rescue coordinator] spent hours on the mountain trying to find the Rottweiler.
“It’s just tremendously incredible. People I don’t even know volunteering their time,” Hoang said. “We were very fortunate.”
Hoang, an elementary school teacher, went to the mountain every day at sunrise and returned at sunset, hoping Aniki would catch his scent and follow it out.
Although the dog has lost 25 pounds, he is eating well and appears happy to be home, Hoang said. He said Aniki has an eye infection, but other than that, tests done by the vet showed nothing remiss.
“I’m relieved - four weeks is a long time,” Hoang said, adding Aniki is part of the family. “He’s emaciated but other than that he’s doing really well. Believe it or not, he wants me to take him for walks again, but I think he needs some rest.”
Jones said it appears the dog was wandering around the ridge area “waiting for the owner to show up.”
He surmises the dog’s calm personality as well as the temperature, available water sources and Aniki’s ability to forage for deer droppings and shrubs likely helped him survive.
He may also have been fed by hikers in the area, he said.
Hoang said that Aniki is recovering and that he is extremely grateful that his family member is back home.