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A California hiker who fell 70 feet in Tahoe National Forest last week was saved by his dog in “true Lassie fashion” after the pup led rescuers to its injured owner, officials said.
The 53-year-old man called 911 with his cellphone, complaining that he broke his hip and some ribs, Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue said.
While the call dropped, rescuers told KOVR-TV that they were able to contact the hiker’s friend who directed them to the man’s campsite. But the crew of 25 didn’t immediately find the injured man.
“As our searchers got to the area and found his camp, they couldn’t find him … so they spread out and searched the area,” said Sgt. Dennis Haack told the station.
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While combing the area, officials told KCRA-TV that the man’s border collie named Saul rushed over to the rescuers.
The dog “ran through the forest approximately 200 yards and in true ‘Lassie’ fashion to flag down two searchers and led them back to the subject which was covered in a camo tarp,” the rescue service said.
Rescuers brought the man to a landing zone half a mile away, where he was airlifted to a hospital. No update was immediately available on the man’s condition.
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As for Saul, officials said that man’s best friend was brought back to Grass Valley and “given a well-deserved dinner.”