A day hike through the snow to Stewart Falls in Utah turned terrifying Saturday for Yichoo Su when her beloved dog Beeroo plunged into a 40-foot-deep cavern of snow and ice, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Your heart really just falls out,” said hiker James Bobb, who saw Beeroo vanish while exploring a mound of snow left by an avalanche beside a waterfall, KSTU reported.
A friend told Su that Beeroo had probably died, but fellow hikers dug a hole and spotted the 4-year-old dog in a hollow space melted out by the waterfall, according to the station.
A Utah County Sheriff Search & Rescue team arrived a few hours later after responding to a series of avalanches, The Daily Herald reported.
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Despite the risk of more avalanches, rescuers feared hikers might try to save Beeroo on their own, according to the publication.
After digging another hole through the bridge of snow and ice over the cavern, a rescuer rappelled 40 feet down to Beeroo and brought him up in a harness, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“There was concern about how the dog would respond to a stranger, but in this case the dog seemed glad to see the rescuer,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon wrote in a statement, the publication reported.
Beeroo was cold and had some injuries, but no broken bones, The Daily Herald reported. He spent about 8 hours in the hole before the 9:15 p.m. rescue.
“You see a lot of things and it’s good to see them end happily,” said Brent Johnson, the rescuer who rappelled down to Beeroo, KSTU reported.
A video posted to Facebook by the Utah County Sheriff Search & Rescue team shows an emotional Su reuniting with Beeroo after his rescue.
“He’s my family, definitely my family, I cannot live without him,” Su said, KSTU reported.