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Nova, a 14-month-old Bernese Mountain dog, that had been missing for almost seven weeks was found by hikers Sunday Nov. 19 near a trail in western Jefferson County and reunited with her owner, reported Greeley Tribune. She had been suffering from a broken leg and was scared when she was found, said the police.
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The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said that when the hikers found Nova on the trail, they couldn’t spot her owner anywhere, so they tried to carry her down the mountain, in an attempt to rescue her. However, since the dog was injured and scared, she bit one of the hikers.
Instead of abandoning the pet and leaving her alone, the hikers reached out to the sheriff’s office for help. One of the hikers stayed behind with Nova as the other went down the mountain for medical help and to guide the rescuers, said the police.
Rangers and rescuers hiked almost three miles up the trail to rescue Nova, according to the Greeley Tribune.
Fortunately, a ranger remembered a poster for “Lost Dog” posted in the park from over a month ago and Jefferson County’s Animal Control department called the owner to arrange a meet-up at the trailhead, where rescuers were bringing down Nova.
“The dog, Nova, was reunited with its owner after having been missing for two months,” said the sheriff’s office, adding that Nova has a broken leg but “is resting comfortably at home and awaiting possible surgery.”
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How did Nova get lost?
Nova, whose full name is Nova Riley is a service dog in training to help her owner safely move around. She went missing after she slipped out of her harness and ran away when she got scared in a Safeway parking lot, her owner Robynne Simons-Sealy told Greeley Tribune.
Simons-Sealy, who is disabled, told the media outlet that she searched extensively for her dog but with little success. Sealy said that her pet was spotted several times but was too scared to come near people and could not be rescued.
“She survived two snowstorms and below-freezing weather,” Simons-Sealy told Greeley Tribune. “I was in tears every time it snowed.”
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Nova was finally rescued after two months because of her hikers’ patience and kindness and was overjoyed when she was reunited with her owner.
Simons-Sealy told Greeley Tribune that Nova “went crazy” when she recognized her owner.
“It was so beautiful and so heartwarming and the most wonderful sound of her realizing, ‘I’m safe, I’m okay’,” she told the Tribune. The pet owner added that Nova would not let her out of her sight now.
Simons-Sealy said that her pet lost almost 20 pounds, a quarter of her body weight, in the duration and will most likely have to have her broken leg amputated.
Nova can no longer work as a service dog due to her injuries, but she will be staying with Simons-Sealy in her forever home.
Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.
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