This image shows a loyal dog still lying on its owner’s upper body while he is being put on a stretcher by mountain rescuers after reportedly keeping him warm for 13 hours, probably saving his life.
Mountain climber Grga Brkic, age not reported, fell down a steep slope while hiking in the Velebit mountain range, Croatia’s largest, albeit not the highest, mountain range.
He reportedly fell a distance of 150 metres (492 feet) down a steep slope and was left unable to move.
Brkic was accompanied by two other climbers and his pet dog North, an Alaskan Malamute breed.
His companions were unable to reach his position and raised the alarm with the mountain rescue service.
A team of 27 first responders was sent to the scene and found the victim being comforted and kept warm by his loyal dog.
It was difficult for the rescuers to get to the victim, as obstacles included thick snow, black ice, torn branches and even snow slides.
First responders credited North for keeping its owner safe and warm during the difficult rescue operation, adding that the animal “curled around him and kept him warm”.
A spokesperson for the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service said: “The dog’s loyalty did not even stop when the (rescue team) arrived. The dog protected the man for 13 hours.
“From this example, we can all learn a thing or two about caring for each other.”
The rescue service also shared a photo of the eight-month-old dog lying on top of Brkic after he had been put in a stretcher.
Brkic told Croatian media: “The minutes and seconds before the team arrived passed by very slowly.”
“This dog is a real miracle, friendly, sociable – maybe he likes people more than other dogs?”
Alaskan Malamutes are well known for their thick fur and durable stamina.
However, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service warned against taking dogs for hikes in treacherous conditions, particularly during the winter months when weather conditions are poor.
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