What started as a fun day of hiking in the beautiful outdoors quickly took a shocking turn and became a frightening tale of life and death. Niko, a fluffy white pup, had been on a camping trip with his dad, David Alt. The pair had set out from Vancouver on July 26th to spend some time in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
An Adventure Turned Accident
When Niko wandered off from the campsite and went towards a nearby road, he was sadly hit by a car. His dad caught up with him just in time to see Niko run off into the woods. The woman who hit Niko stopped and remarked that there was no way he could have survived the impact. But against the odd, he did survive.
Niko’s dad searched everywhere for him but eventually, he had to make the gut-wrenching decision to return home. Niko and David’s 16-year-old son, Caden, were described as adventure buddies. Niko joined the father and son duo on trips to go mountain climbing, skiing, snow camping, and even mountain biking.
A Search and Rescue Mission for Niko
Naturally, Caden joined his dad to search for Niko over the coming days.
“Niko has been our adventure partner for the last 5 years,” David told his Facebook followers.
They returned home each weekend empty-handed and heartbroken. David had set up what he called a “basecamp” for Niko complete with Niko’s bed and pictures, in case he was alive and needed a warm place to sleep. Right before all hope was lost, the Alt family received a call that would quickly turn things around.
A Miraculous Sighting and a Family Reunited
A couple of travelers had spotted Niko about 100 yards from the accident site. Brad Woods and Troy McKay had seen posts on Facebook asking for help finding the sweet boy, so they knew they had stumbled upon someone very special.
The kind men that found Niko decided to take time away from their own vacation to make sure Niko got home. They loaded Niko into their car and set out to reunite the family in Vancouver.
David Alt described the emotional reunion to King 5 News.
“So, yeah, my son and I were just crying, it was, it was unbelievable, yeah, and then of course when we’re in the driveway and they bring him up, Caden and I are crying, those two grown men are crying, four guys crying, it was great,” David said.
Niko was in great spirits though he had lost 15 pounds or about 30% of his body weight. He was described as being “skin and bone” but he had no trouble eating or drinking.
“I’m so glad to have him back. He’s not like perfect, energetic back up to himself, but he’s getting there, better every day. He’s just as cute as ever, the house is filled again,” Caden said.
The Alt family, especially Niko, say they’re so thankful for all of the support they received. They’re over the moon to have their boy home and on the road to recovery for their next big adventure.
Meet Niko! He got hit by a car & survived 31 days alone in the wilderness. His family searched for him constantly, but he was finally found by two strangers who reunited him w/his family in Vancouver. More on @KGWNews at 6! pic.twitter.com/uOexl358MU
— Lindsay Nadrich (@LindsayNadrich) August 30, 2019
h/t: King 5 News
Feature Photo: David Alt
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