A loyal dog refused to leave his owner when they got lost on a hiking expedition to Mingus Mountain in the US state of Arizona. When the two were found six days later, the owner had died and the dog was in a serious condition due to severe dehydration and exhaustion.
Named Ranger, a Labrador mix, the dog was given oxygen and fluids before being taken to a vet. A fundraiser has been launched to pay for Ranger's treatment. It has been set up by search and rescue volunteer Dondi West, who said Ranger was "instrumental in helping searchers" find his owner.
The dog and its owner, Donald Hayes, 74, had gone missing last week. After realising that they are lost, Mr Hayes had called the forest patrol team. He was asked not to leave the location as the officials were on the way to help him out. Mr Hayes didn't listen and decided to look for a way out. Mr Hayes' body was discovered on Wednesday, Sky News quoted Yavapai County Sheriff's Office as saying in a statement.
Later, Ranger was transported to the nearby emergency animal hospital for treatment. "We hope to pay the veterinary bills to ease the pain of the family tragedy and help in Ranger's recovery...Your donation is the start of his return to health," Mr West said on the fundraiser page.
One donor said, "Brought a tear to my eyes that the dog was so loyal. Please save him. You can do it. You're nearly at your target. I have sent your page to all my friends and family. Hopefully, you will reach your target soon."
Another said, “What a loyal dog. This canine stuck with his master to the absolute and unfortunate end.”
Mr West has also shared an update about Ranger's health on the page. He said that the furball's condition has improved. “He ate dinner. The hope is to release him tomorrow to his family. All SAR volunteers want to thank the community for supporting Ranger and his family,” it read.
The campaign raised more than $4,300 and it has been disabled now.