Golden Retriever Lost In Snowy Wicklow Mountains For Two Weeks Is Rescued By Hikers

A family in Ireland experienced a miracle when their dog missing for two weeks in Wicklow Mountains National Park was found alive by hikers.

Erina O’Shea Goetelen and her family headed to the mountains for a hike with their two dogs, Harley and Neesha. “They were let off the leash so they could have a bit of freedom, roll around in the snow and explore. They were heading back down, and they said they should put them back on the lead. But a deer popped out and the two of them bolted after the deer,” she told East Coast FM.

“My husband and my two kids tried to run after them but they were too fast. Then they lost sight of them towards the forest.”

The family returned to their car thinking the dogs knew where they were headed, but neither were there. The next day they found Harley, but no sign of Neesha, their 8-year-old golden retriever. They continued to search and even used a drone, but were unable to locate her.

They were losing hope of finding their beloved dog when nearly two weeks later there was still no sign of Neesha and the mountains were covered in snow.

But then a miracle happened…

Jean-Francois Bonnet and Ciara Nolan went for a strenuous 15 km (9.3 miles) hike to the top of Lugnaquilla Mountain on a blustery day. The mountain is very exposed to weather and is a difficult climb. The most challenging area is said to be the summit plateau, “this area is very difficult to navigate in poor weather and is a regular cause of walkers getting lost on the mountain.”

Nolan cried out when she spotted frail Neesha curled up next to a rock at the summit. “I couldn’t stop crying when we found her, she couldn’t even stand she was so weak,” recalled Nolan.

“She was petrified and freezing cold. She didn’t even have the energy to bark or stand. We tried to get her to walk but she couldn’t stand so we covered her in our spare clothes. We gave her some food. Ciara put her on my back, and we started going down the mountain,” Bonnet said.

The climb down from the highest peak in the park (925m) is difficult on its own, but carrying a dog made it even harder. The couple strapped Neesha to Bonnet’s backpack and he carried her on his back for the five hour hike down the mountain.

They brought the dog home and gave her more food as she warmed up in front of a heater. A local animal rescue group helped the couple locate her owners.

“We had just about given up hope that day on Saturday and when I got Ciara’s message that she found our golden retriever . . . we were just so, so happy. They were just absolutely amazing. We can’t thank them enough,” said Neesha’s mom.

Bonnet posted the rescue video and it has gone viral with nearly 900K views. Thousands of people commended him and Nolan on the brave act. He said, “I’m so glad we decided to go up Lugnaquilla in bad weather and found her!”

Neesha was taken to a vet and treated for minor scraps and given antibiotics. She is expected to make a full recovery.

Check out the incredible rescue and heartwarming reunion in the video below. Don’t forget to share!


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