Blind man's dog rescued and reunited after backpacking trip goes wrong

DENVER -- Two-year-old Stella loves to be pet -- but these rubs are now an extra treat for her and her owner, Curtis Culver. 

"I am an outsider looking into this crazy story. I feel really lucky honestly. I have my dog back and that is so huge. That was Sunday, actually. A few hours before everything started," says Culver. 

Last Monday, Culver and his brother called for help when the weather got bad during their backpacking trip in Grand County, Colorado.

"It was a little after 6:30 when we heard them yell the first time," he says. "We sat up and screamed back, 'We are here! Over here!'"

But Relief quickly turned to panic when the search and rescue team got to them. Stella got scared and ran off.

"It was just the emptiness you feel inside knowing you are not leaving with all the lives you came with. What if she dies out there. What if it is just too cold. That was the heart wrencher," says Culver.

Michael Donmoyer is a volunteer with Grand County Search and Rescue.

"It's really important to them that they close missions out completely and this was just an open end that no one wanted to leave open. Thought was that we would go up there and give it our best shot," he explains.

Volunteers with search and rescue went back to the campground Saturday, hiking 14 miles to find Stella.

"She wasn't too far from their camp. Couple hundred yards from where Cody and Curtis had camped," says Donmoyer. 

And when Stella was found, Culver says, "I got that text. I dropped everything and ran into the housing screaming, they got her."

It was a second chance to hold his dog after she survived five days alone in the woods.

I love her. If I could take her everywhere I go I would honestly.

For now, she's earned the extra rubs and longer naps

"As many as she wants. And a GPS tracking collar, which I am getting for her," says Culver. 

View This Story on Our Site