Friday, December 22, 2006

A dog and his person

This story from NBC's Today Show severely impeded my mascara application this morning. Watch the video here.

The video is worth watching if you are looking for the tear-jerking factor, but below is the story from Denver's NBC affiliate if reading is a better option at the moment:

Top athlete survives 3 days in wilderness after 60-foot fall
Danelle Ballengee, one of the top female adventure racers in the world, is recovering at Denver Health Medical Center's ICU after suffering severe injuries from a nearly 60 foot fall in a remote area of Moab, Utah.

Stranded for three days, Ballengee says her dog saved her life by bringing help to her.

Last Wednesday, while taking a short run in Moab, Ballengee says she took a step and it was pure ice causing her to fall close to 60 feet.

From her hospital bed at Denver Health Ballengee told 9NEWS, "After I landed the first thing I realized is that I wasn't paralyzed and my second thought is, 'I've got to get out of here, I'm in the middle of nowhere.'"

Ballengee broke her pelvis in four spots. It took her five hours to crawl a quarter of a mile where she waited for two cold nights for help.

Taz, Ballengee's dog, stayed by her body for warmth on the first night and even though she says he would repeatedly leave her (presumably to look for help) he would always come back.

"I definitely thought about how easy it would be . . . to just stop moving and to just lay down and just go to sleep and just die."

Ballengee says Taz ran away on the morning of the third day and rescuers later told her they saw the dog about five miles from where she was. The dog barked at the rescuers, but wouldn't go near them. Ultimately, the rescuers say they followed Taz all the way to Ballengee, 52 hours after she had fallen.

Rescue teams were alerted after Ballengee's neighbor noticed she had not returned home and reported her missing.

Friends of Ballengee say if anyone can recover from this it is Danelle. She faces three to six months of recovery before she can walk again and likely a year until full recovery.

It's settled. I'm taking Diesel with me wherever I go. Put to the test, I have no doubt he would do the same thing.

If he wasn't distracted by snouting that is.


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