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Dog of Missing Hiker Makes It Home

Josh Hall's dog Happy is safe while Hall remains missing
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2021 9:00 AM CST
Missing Hiker's Dog Found 8 Days After Owner Vanished
Happy, who went missing along with Josh Hall on Feb. 3, has been found alive without his owner.   (Handout)

(Newser) – The family of a missing Colorado hiker had a bittersweet reunion when the man's dog was discovered walking a highway alone. Eight days after Josh Hall's disappearance in Boulder County, his dog Happy was found about seven to nine miles from the Hessie Trailhead that Hall set off from while en route to Devil's Thumb Lake on Feb. 3. Per KMGH, Hall's stepfather Nick Vukson said Happy had lost 10-15 pounds but had somehow avoided frostbite despite frigid conditions. Vukson and Hall's mother, Laura, said the development was a source of both hope and vexation. "I did not think that there was any chance that they could have survived," Laura said. "I'm terrified that that means that Happy stayed with Josh until he succumbed to the cold."

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Per ABC News, the Boulder County Communications Center was notified after 6pm Feb. 3 that Hall was overdue from his hike. The news coincided with reports of a major winter storm in the area where his cellphone was last pinged. The search began that night and, in ensuing days, some 80 rescue workers combed the area but found no signs of Hall. The Boulder County Sheriff's Office said in a series of tweets Friday that large scale searches were impossible due to safety concerns. The office said they hoped to launch aerial searches once weather conditions improved. (Read more hikers stories.)

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