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Lost dog in the Bridger Mountains returns home with help from Bozeman community

Posted at 12:48 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 14:48:33-04

BOZEMAN - After five days lost in the Bridger Mountains, Mick or McLovin’, returned home thanks to the help of the Bozeman community.

“We were almost to Bridger Bowl on Saddle Peak. And we had a snack together and we were with each other. And then 30 seconds he was gone and I didn’t see where he went,” said Dan Gabel, Mick’s owner.

Dan Gabel looked around all night for Mick. No luck.

“That’s when my heart fell into my chest,” said Dan’s wife Dani Gabel.

That’s when Dani Gabel posted on social media about the family’s missing dog.

“People were texting, leaving me voicemails, there people just saying hey I’m going up Sypes, I’m bringing a ball and an extra leash, and then when they’d get back they’d say 'hey I did the hike, but no sign of him,'” said Dani.

But the Gabels didn’t lose hope. And soon hundreds of people from the community were hiking the Bridgers searching for Mick.

Then, on day five, Dan spotted Mick with his binoculars, stuck on the ledge of a cliff around 70 feet up.

Daylight was fading quickly.

“It was definitely a climb that I was unable to do by myself,” said Dan

Enter the Bozeman community, where volunteers joined to help repel Mick down the cliff.

“At least a dozen people just threw down everything they were doing on a Sunday night and raced up that mountain with headlamps and climbing great to do that. It was just an amazing, amazing sight,” said Terry Cunningham, on of the volunteers who searched for Mick.

Mick returned home from the vet healthy and happy.

“Dan and Dani, Mick’s owners did everything right. They got the community engaged. They didn’t lose hope,” said Cunningham.

The Gabels say they’re overwhelmed by the support from the community.

“I told him he as to live now until he’s 15 because my heart can’t take another loss any time soon,” said Dani.

The Gabels say on their next hike, Mick will be wearing a GPS.