There is nothing dogs want more than to snuggle with their humans, even in the worst of circumstances, which is how Ash found himself with his dad in the Swiss Alps.
He and his papa Paolo loved to hike in the mountains. Ash was a mixed breed, and none of his bloodlines were particularly energetic. But, he wanted to be with his dad, even if that meant steep climbing hills and experiencing extreme weather.
Paolo was an experienced hiker, but even he could make a mistake. He was moving from one rock face to another when he slipped, fell, and shattered his ankle, a thousand feet above sea level and miles from anyone who could help.
Paolo knew that chance of getting saved was remote. It would take days before anyone realized he was missing, and the area where they walked spread over several miles. The two of them were figuratively a needle in a haystack.
He determined they would need water. They had passed a creek a quarter of a mile back, and Paolo began to pull himself by his arms towards it. The trip was tortuous, but with Ash’s support, he made it. They would both have access to water and be better positioned to be seen from the air.
That is when Paolo began to pray to the human angels. Like everything with them, there is a vast bureaucracy, and prayers need to go from department to department before they are approved. By the time Paolo’s prayers got through the red tape, both parties would be dead.
Paolo knew that humans, both mortal, immortal, and in angel form, could never make a decision, so he prayed to the dog angels, and since it was a life and death matter, and I had an excellent rescue record, I was sent to save the stranded duo.
I appeared to Ash as a ghost. It was nighttime, and the temperature was far below freezing. Always prepared for the worst, Paolo had put a thermal blanket in his backpack. They lay under it, together shivering. I told Ash I would try to get help immediately. “Don’t put yourself out,” he said. “I’m getting some good snuggle time.”
My first task was to make sure the predatory animals didn’t make a snack of my charges. I had to ease some moose onto the Bridge, where they were anxious to go, having put up with too many mountain winters and were ready to be immortal and warm, then showed the hunters where their remains were so they could eat them and not my friends.
My efforts to enter human’s brains and tell them Paolo and Ash location were for naught. I relayed to all the rescue workers that there were a man and dog stranded on the mountain. Still, they balked at sending out a search party without a missing person report from an actual human, and, since Paulo, after COVID, worked his own business from home, and his girlfriend was traveling, no one missed him.
By the seventh day, Ash was sick of being outside with only small amounts of food. When it wasn’t keeping the duo warm, I told Ash to drag the blanket to the river. I finally found his girlfriend and convinced her that Paolo was missing. When she filed a report, the rescuers began looking, and one of them saw the thermal blanket. The pair were removed from the mountain via helicopter. Paolo was grateful for the food and drink, and Ash thought the ride was incredible.
And, just as importantly, I got another rescue on my record. Now I have to get the moose out of Doggyspace Town Square.