Hiker Credits Dog with Keeping Him Alive, Rescued in Italian Alps After 7 Nights

An injured hiker is presently recovering after a harrowing seven nights trapped in the mountains north of Udine, a city in north-eastern Italy near the Alps. His trusty dog Ash stayed by his side, helping him survive through the freezing nights, and was found next to the unnamed man by members of the rescue service who responded to search calls for the missing hiker.

Rescue services announced the discovery of the 33-year-old hiker on Facebook, as two technicians of the Udine Alpine Rescue were out searching for him via helicopter. His girlfriend had alerted them of his failure to appear last Monday; he regularly made this hiking trip every year, so his disappearance was cause for concern. 

The hiker had fallen and broken his ankle while traveling through the Venzonassa Valley, one of the areas on the trip without any mobile phone service. After falling down, he dragged himself to a stream for some water, but was unable to travel very fair unaided.

A dog has helped its hiker owner survive seven nights in the freezing Italian alps after the man broke his ankle and was stranded in the wild. Pictured, the injured hiker wrapped in a sleeping bag is being prepare for airlift by rescuers on Thursday after they spotted the man

While it is unclear exactly what Ash had done for him, the dog never left his side, even as the journey was perilous and slow, and presumably helped keep him warm. When he was finally found, his body was covered in leaves and he seemed to be conscious, but he was very thirsty and hungry. He credited his dog with his survival while the rescue team treated him, and they soon were able to carefully raise him and his dog into a helicopter.

The hiker is currently recovering at a local hospital while the rescue team looks after Ash in his absence. 

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