When Tia Vargas went for a hike up the mountains, she never expected that she would come back down with a new family member.
But as Vargas was on her way back down the Table Rock Trail in Boise’s Grand Tetons, she ran into a group of hikers who were standing next to an injured springer spaniel pup.
The hikers were worried about the pup and didn’t know where his owner was and they weren’t sure what to do.
The dog had a collar that said “Boomer” and the hikers had seen a notice at the foot of the trail that a family were missing their dog, so they assumed that this was the missing pup.
Since they were on their way up and Vargas was on her way down, Vargas suggested that she would bring the pup down.
The poor springer spaniel was badly injured, and Vargas soon realized that he wouldn’t be able to walk down on his own.
He was severely dehydrated, swollen and scratched-up, and he had dislocated one paw.
There was no way he’d be able to hike the remaining six miles down the mountain.
And so, Vargas did the only thing she could; she lifted him up on her shoulders and began making her way down the trail with the 55-pound pup on her back.
This made the already challenging hike much more difficult, but Vargas knew that she just had to find the strength somehow and get the pup down safely.
If she couldn’t get the pup down in time, little Boomer was sure to die.
He was in such a terrible state and Vargas just had to power through and keep on walking even though every muscle in her body was crying out.
A mile down, Vargas met up with her 76-year-old father, Ted Kasper, who had chosen to wait for her there rather than hike all the way up to the peak.
Together, the two continued hiking down.
Vargas was pushed to the limit as she and her father managed to get lost twice on the way down.
And when the rain started pouring down, Vargas wasn’t sure she’d be able to keep going.
It felt like every last drop of energy had seeped out of her body.
But Vargas couldn’t give up. There was no way she was going to let Boomer die.
She said a quiet prayer, and her strength returned.
Eventually, after more than six hours, Vargas, Kasper and Boomer finally reached the bottom of the trail.
When Vargas contacted Boomer’s family, they were more than grateful.
Boomer had gotten lost while they were out on a hike and he’d fallen down a deep crevice.
They’d spent hours looking for him with no luck and the whole family had been left completely devastated.
Now, knowing that he was safe, the family wept with joy.
Then, in an unexpected turn of events, they explained to Vargas that they were about to move and that they were looking to rehome Boomer.
And after everything she’d done for the sweet pup, they wondered if perhaps Vargas wanted to be the one to adopt him.
Vargas was very touched and agreed. It felt like fate had led her up the mountain and placed Boomer in her path.
Now, Vargas is Boomer’s new mommy and the two are so happy together.
They love each very much, and Boomer is incredibly proud to have such a brave and loving mom.
Vargas has been praised online for her compassion and perseverance.