When Kelly McDuffie and Danny Hartung went hiking in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, they were expected to relax, breathe some fresh air, and maybe pick some blackberries, but what they got was way different than what they hoped for.
As they were walking in the woods, they noticed a spring they decided to follow, which eventually led them to a dog whose picture they had previously seen on a “missing dog flyer.”
Once they realized it was actually the dog who got missing after a house cleaner opened the door of the resort where the family was staying, the two hikers knew they had to get Max, the Golden Retriever out of there.
But doing that wasn’t an easy task. Max had already spent 11 long days all by himself at that scary place, so he wasn’t certain whether he could trust these humans or not. But once they offered him their lunch and lots of water, Max finally got out of the bush he was hiding behind.
As they tied an emergency rope around his collar and tried to make him stand on his feet and follow them, McDuffie and Hartung realized Max couldn’t walk. They assumed one of his hind legs could be injured, but they were already way too far from the main road and couldn’t carry him.
Luckily, they gained cell service and called park rangers to come and help them bring Max home to his owners who were desperate to find him.
His family was told the great news and they were over the moon hearing their beloved dog was found safe and sound. They drove from DC and the first thing they did was take Max at the vet’s. Luckily, the doctor told them that Max’s overall condition was great and his leg wasn’t injured, but he was just way too weak to be able to walk.
Once home, Max is spending most of his days sleeping, as he’s still too tired from the ordeal he had to go through.
But, that’s now in the past and Max can enjoy his life around his humans who love him to the moon and back again.
“It was a long day, but saving sweet Max made it all worth it!” McDuffie wrote on Facebook. “He would not have made it out of that spot if not for the water source he so smartly chose to settle near, and the ripe blackberries. All of the stars aligned that day!”