Leonard Somers credit his Alaskan husky named Juneau with saving his life. This was after the loyal dog helped locate and keep warm the injured skier in a ravine on Berthoud Pass in Colorado.
In the evening hours of November 2, 2013, Somers was preparing to ski on the Berthoud Pass. Somers told his nephew, Ryan Bame, to take a picture before he started skiing. Somers then told Bame to come looking if he did not return in 40 minutes. Less than an hour later, Bame launched a rescue party in an attempt to locate Somers.
As Somers was skiing on the Pass, accompanied by his dog, Juneau, he slipped off the path and crashed into a ravine. As Somers fell, he slammed his back onto a frozen tree trunk, which punctured his neck and caused severe spinal cord injuries. Somers was unable to move his legs and could not call for help. Juneau leaped into action, digging out Somers and laying on top of him to keep him warm. Juneau then rushed back to the base, where he was spotted by a member of the rescue party. The party followed Juneau to Somers.
After his rescue, Somers was airlifted to the emergency room at the St. Anthony Medical Center in Lakewood, Colorado. Somers underwent surgery. One week later, he was released from the hospital. Both of his legs are in casts, and he must now begin an arduous physical therapy journey at the Craig Rehabilitation Hospital to regain the use of his legs.
Somers credits Juneau with saving his life. He says that all of Juneau’s actions were necessary to preserve his life and for the rescue party to locate him in time to save him.
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