Tragic hiker’s ‘loyal’ dog lost half her body weight staying with his remains

Tragic Colorado hiker Richard Moore’s “loyal” Jack Russell terrier wasted away to half her body weight when she stayed by her owner’s remains for over 10 weeks.

The loyal pup, Finney, was just six pounds when a hunter stumbled upon Moore’s body in the San Juan Mountains on Oct. 30, Delinda VanneBrightyn of Taos Search and Rescue said.

Moore, 71, and Finney left on a rigorous climb of Blackhead Peak on Aug. 19, but never came back, authorities explained.

A recovery crew removed Moore’s remains on Oct. 31, and Finney received a veterinary checkup before being returned to her owner’s family.

The coroner later determined that Moore, who was an experienced outdoorsman, succumbed to hypothermia.

Finney likely survived by hunting small animals like mice and managing to avoid larger predators like coyotes, bears, and mountain lions, VanneBrightyn — who has trained dogs for 20 years — explained.

“Jack Russells are pretty fierce, I have to say, they’re tough little dogs,” she observed.

“If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story. We probably could not even believe the story the dog would tell.”

Finney’s resilience will likely be a comfort to Moore’s family as they navigate the grieving process, VanneBrightyn noted.

“We are very glad … that Finney was returned to the family because they have lost their loved one, but they still have this wonderful, loyal dog,” she said.

With Post wires

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