QUESTA, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a miracle just in time for Christmas. After a trip to the wilderness, one man’s dog went missing for days. Thanks to the help of family and friends, the story has a happy ending.
Austin Mason and his dog, Ellie, a 5-year-old golden retriever, enjoy going on fishing and hunting trips. However, on December 18, Ellie got lost while on El Aguaje Trail near Questa.
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“She got off ahead of us, maybe 100 yards. I didn’t think anything of it. But I was fishing with my buddy Mike, and we just started heading down, and we’re like, ‘maybe she’ll come back,'” said Mason.
After the many trips the two have taken, Mason said Ellie never gets lost. He believes she got turned around. Mason and his friend quickly started calling out to Ellie.
“We looked for her that very first night. We were out there until 4 in the morning. We hiked up and down the trail in the dark. Yelling for her. I was just in tears,” said Mason.
Mason never stopped looking. At one point, he turned to the powers of social media. Soon, many were following their story rooting for a good ending. Even complete strangers stepped in to help.
Mason, his friends, and family were determined to find Ellie. Some friends brought in drones to fly in the area, searching for any signs. Then finally, after searching day and night in the area for five whole days, Mason spotted her half a mile away across a canyon through some binoculars.
Mason’s family happened to be on the same side of the canyon as Ellie. He called them on the phone and guided them to where she was.
They believe she got turned around due to echoing in the canyon and slid down onto a cliff edge. Thankfully she stayed put waiting for help. Luckily, Mason’s brother brought some rope to help hoist her up.
She’s been given another chance. With only a little bruising, Ellie is ready for her next adventure. “Shes doing great. She’s healthy. She’s back to her old self,” said Mason.
Mason added he plans to buy a GPS dog collar device to help prevent this from ever happening again.