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Hiker Looks Down Tall Canyon, Sees Tiny Puppy All Alone and Left for Dead

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If you’ve ever heard someone refer to “the life of Riley,” maybe you understand what the term represents. According to the Urban Dictionary, this well-worn phrase refers to a carefree life of comfort and prosperity.

Growing up, Zachary Anderegg didn’t know much about this type of existence. He found himself in a difficult home situation, and he was also victimized by vicious school bullies who simply wouldn’t let up.

At times, it must have felt like being imprisoned in a deep, dark chasm without any hope of escape. Even when Anderegg grew up, joined the service, and eventually earned the rank of U.S. Marine sergeant, those painful childhood memories continued haunting him.

But if you’ve run across Anderegg’s name on social media, perhaps you know about the astonishing way fate intervened. It all started in the hot and desolate Arizona desert, while Anderegg was out hiking by himself.

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Highly experienced at surviving in the most unforgiving landscapes, Anderegg began exploring a narrow 350-foot slot canyon. And that’s when he spotted some highly unexpected signs of movement.

At first, Anderegg couldn’t believe his eyes. It was an emaciated black puppy, deep at the bottom of a razor-thin crevice — the same crevice Anderegg himself had just scaled with the help of a rope, and rugged rappelling equipment.

Anderegg was so aghast that he decided to film the whole encounter. “As far as I’m concerned,” he told the camera, “the only way (this dog) got here, without having broken legs, is someone actually put him here.”

He immediately provided food and water for the starving, skin-and-bones pooch. He also pledged to come back and rescue his ailing four-legged friend.

And the very next day, that’s exactly what Anderegg did. The proficient climber came back with the appropriate tools, and hoisted the scrawny pup up from his bleak and shadowy prison.

The rest is recounted in a book Anderegg subsequently wrote, about giving this sweet animal soulmate a brand new lease on life. It tells how Anderegg frantically rushed the skeletal hound to Page Animal Hospital in Page, Arizona — where a courageous fight for survival commenced.

Miraculously, the skilled doctors and technicians eventually helped this resilient dog pull through. A relieved and grateful Anderegg adopted him on the spot, and drove him home to meet his adoring new family and affectionate canine “brother.”

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So what did Anderegg decide to name his brave and devoted new canine companion? Riley, of course — and the poignant title he chose for the book itself, was “Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself.”

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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