Last month when Tia Vargas of Idaho Falls was hiking down from the peak of Table Rock Trail near Grand Teton National Park to meet her father she “stumbled upon an alarming sight: an English springer spaniel struggling and limping to keep up with a pack of hikers, who were searching for the dog’s owner.”1

The hikers asked Vargas if the dog was hers and said that they had seen a note at the bottom of the trail mentioning someone had lost their dog. When the other hikers told her they were hoping to get to the top of the mountain, she decided right then and there to carry the 55-pound dog “Boomer” 6-miles down the 11,106-foot mountain!


Speaking about the state of Boomer, Vargas said, “His eyes were super puffy and bloodshot. His body was swollen, even his bum was very, very swollen. And you could tell he was very dehydrated. He had cuts and scratches on his belly and on his head. He was in bad condition.”2

Vargas lifted the pup onto her shoulders and continued on her way, immediately feeling the full weight of the task ahead of her. After finding her father, the two of them continued to work their way down the mountain with Boomer, something that was made more difficult when it started to rain.


“We got lost twice. We couldn’t find the trail. And at one point we had the river on both sides of us, and that’s about when my legs were done. We were walking through brush and thicket and it was scratching our legs. It started to rain and I put Boomer down on a rock and I laid on his belly and I was just done.”3 But at that moment, her dad made a joke and gave her some perspective, enabling her to continue. She said a prayer and remembers that “…it literally felt like someone had walked up behind me and lifted the weight off my shoulders.”4

Around 6 p.m., more than 6 hours after she started, Vargas and her father made it down the mountain and found the sign that Boomer’s owners had left about the missing pup. After contacting the family, Vargas learned that Boomer’s people had him while hiking up Table Rock Mountain on July 4th but that he had wandered off and fallen 100 feet down a snowy crevice.


Boomer’s family were happy to learn he had been found and that he was ok and offered to let Vargas adopt him because they were getting ready to move to Arizona. Something Vargas and her children were thrilled to do.

Vargas has set up a Facebook page about Boomer so she can update people on how he’s doing. She says, “Boomer is part of our family now. I feel like there’s a reason why I was on the mountain at the very moment that he needed somebody to help. Both of us had a guardian angel that day.”5

Sources and References

  1. Fox News, August 31, 2018.
  2. Fox News, August 31, 2018.
  3. Fox News, August 31, 2018.
  4. Fox News, August 31, 2018.
  5. Fox News, August 31, 2018.