A faithful dog who survived after spending more than 10 weeks by her owner who died of hypothermia while hiking in the Colorado mountains has regained most of the weight she lost during her ordeal and is back on the trails, the family said Thursday.

Rich Moore, 71, of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, set out with his Jack Russell terrier named Finney to climb Blackhead Peak on Aug. 19, but didn’t return home. A dayslong search between the peak and his vehicle was unsuccessful.

Then, on Oct. 30, a hunter found Moore’s body — and a very protective Finney — in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Finney had lost about half her body weight and her ribs were visible, officials have said.

Hiker Dies Dog Survives
This image provided by Dana Holby shows her Jack Russell terrier Finney on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in Pagosa Springs, Colo. 

/ AP

Less than three weeks later, “Finney is doing well,” Moore’s wife, Dana Holby, told The Associated Press on Thursday. “She has gained almost all of her weight back and her strength is almost where it was. She is the miracle dog.”

She does have an injury on her snout that might leave a scar, Holby said.

“She is now 3, very clingy and will not let me out of her sight,” Holby said. “Her ravenous appetite has calmed down, but at first she could not get enough to eat and wanted food at all times of the day and night.”

This image provided by Dana Holby shows her Jack Russell terrier Finney on Oct. 31, 2023, in Pagosa Springs, Colo., shortly after returning from the mountains. 

/ AP

Finney’s survival story has made her famous on the hiking trails around Pagosa Springs, Holby said.

“People say, ‘Is that Finney?'” to which Holby responds with an enthusiastic,”Yes!”

“She is such a comfort to me and a great companion on hikes,” covering 4 to 5 miles a day, Holby said.

“I know that she was with Rich to the very end and somehow that should be a comfort. I don’t know how she did it, but she was there when he needed her,” Holby said.

Delinda VanneBrightyn, a volunteer with Taos Search and Rescue, joined the search effort with her search dog.

Finney’s “magnificent story of survival” is a testament to her dedication and loyalty to Moore, said VanneBrightyn, who has trained dogs for two decades. “Jack Russells are pretty fierce, I have to say, they’re tough little dogs.”

Hiker Dies Dog Survives
This image provided by Dana Holby shows her Jack Russell terrier Finney on Nov. 8, 2023.

/ AP

Finney’s story of survival  marks at least the third time a dog has been found alive next to a hiker’s body since last year. In May 2022, a Labrador was found lying next to the body of a 74-year-old Arizona man who had died during a hike.

The month before that, a missing 29-year-old hiker was found dead in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park with his dog by his side. Family members said it appeared the dog hadn’t left his side for two weeks.

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