Dog who survived 72 days in mountains after owner's death is regaining weight, back on hiking trails

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.

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

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.”

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 (6.5 to 8 kilometers) 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.