Ryan W. Miller
Published 8:47 AM EDT Jul 27, 2020
An “adorable” St. Bernard dog with rear leg pain was rescued from England’s highest peak on Friday, emergency officials said.
Daisy, a roughly 120-pound St. Bernard out for a hike with her owners, collapsed while descending from the summit of Scafell Pike and refused to move.
A group of 16 rescuers at Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team got the call that the dog needed help and quickly consulted with local veterinarians on how best to retrieve her.
“Having team members with their own pampered pooches at home and also our very own much adored search dog Jess, we recognise the distress that both an animal can feel and also that of their owners,” the rescue organization said in a statement.
“Our members didn’t need to think twice about mobilising and deploying to help retrieve Daisy off England’s highest,” it added.
Daisy’s owners kept her hydrated and fed as the team made it to their location. Once they made contact, rescuers greeted Daisy and gave her treats so they could give her pain medicine, too.
Then the team had to figure out how they’d get the dog down from the more than 3,000 foot mountain.
“It had become quickly apparent that Daisy’s cooperation was going to be essential if we were to make progress as Daisy made sure we knew that if she didn’t want to do something, she wasn’t going to do it,” rescuers said.
Once Daisy got comfortable on the stretcher, getting her down was “not that much different to a normal adult evacuation which is of course is the bread and butter of our team, which we have done hundreds of times before,” the team said.
Video of the nearly 5-hour rescue showed the team of rescuers donning red jackets, white helmets and face masks to slow the spread of the new coronavirus as Daisy sat on the stretcher. At one point, the team toting Daisy crossed over a rocky stream.
First bred in the Alps by monks, St. Bernard dogs were bred as “powerful working dogs able to locate and rescue luckless travelers buried by drifts and avalanches,” the American Kennel Club says. The monks operated lodging for pilgrims traveling to Rome as they crossed a treacherous mountain pass, named Great St. Bernard Pass.
As for Daisy, the pup has been resting and is in good spirits, the team said, but “she apparently feels a bit guilty and slightly embarrassed about letting down the image of her cousins bouncing across the Alpine snows with barrels of brandy around their necks.”
The AKC said, however, the dogs didn’t actually carry brandy around their necks despite the common myth. Instead, the dogs’ incredible sense of smell and path finding led to them saving more than 2,000 people in their three centuries of rescue work, the AKC says.
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