Mountain climbers in Mexico scaled the country’s highest mountain last week in an effort to rescue an adventurous canine from the summit.
The dog, a tan hound mix who the hikers have named Canelo, reportedly climbed Pico de Orizaba on his own, following a pack of hikers in October who had given him food. Eventually making his way nearly to the peak of the 18,491-foot tall mountain, Canelo refused to follow several ensuing groups of climbers back down the slope and stayed in his lofty position for nearly a month, braving wind and biting cold the whole time.
But last week, a group of 30 climbers from The Mexican Alpine Club decided to stage a rescue mission and made the trek up the dormant volcano specifically for the purpose of bringing Canelo down to safety. A climber named Hilario “Layo” Aguilar was part of the team of climbing instructors who led the expedition and chronicled the rescue on his Facebook page, explaining how the climbers found the shivering, starving pupper near the peak’s summit and slowly coaxed him into their midst with water and snacks.
Once they gained the doggo’s trust, the team had to work out how to get him back down the mountain, eventually deciding to bundle Canelo up and put him in a backpack, toting him down the mountainside like a fuzzy, yellow Yoda.
Once returned to sea level, Canelo was taken to a local veterinarian for a checkup and some basic care to get the hungry pooch rested and recovered. Aguilar, who already has two dogs of his own, knew he couldn’t provide Canelo with a forever home and turned the pooch over to Fatima del Angel, a friend who works for a local animal shelter.
Happily, now that Canelo’s exploits have become national news in Mexico, the shelter where he’s resting has been inundated with adoption inquiries, meaning that Canelo’s days of wandering alone in the wilderness are over for good.