Lost Hiker Has Dog to Thank for His Survival

Marley alerted family to man lost in snowstorm
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2016 4:29 PM CDT
Lost Hiker Has Dog to Thank for His Survival
File photo of a black Labrador retriever.   (AP Photo/courtesy of Mary Flood)

When John Paul Roccaforte took his two dogs outside a little after 1am on April 16 during a snowstorm, 2-year-old black Lab mix Marley wouldn't stop barking, the Arizona Republic reports. "He just wouldn’t let up. He was relentless," Roccaforte tells the Arizona Daily Sun. "It was high-alert, letting us know. I couldn't get him to come in." Eventually, Roccaforte heard something else: moaning from the woods behind his Flagstaff home, and then a voice crying for help.

Roccaforte called 911, and the responding officers heard the same thing and followed the voice to an injured hiker at the base of Mount Elden. The man, who was apparently intoxicated and suffering from hypothermia, was wearing only a T-shirt, pants, and one shoe. "If that dog hadn’t heard him out there, he would have definitely frozen to death for sure," a responding officer tells the Sun. "He couldn’t even walk. Without a doubt, he would have died due to exposure." The hiker was hospitalized, and Marley was rewarded with extra treats. (Here's another lost hiker with an incredible rescue story.)

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