ANCHORAGE (KTUU) EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published on March 22, 2016.
A dog and his owner were reunited Tuesday afternoon after the missing animal was found stranded on the face of a cliff about 150 feet above the Seward Highway.
Anchorage Animal Care and Control were notified that the dog had been found on the cliff near Windy Corner at around noon on Tuesday. Photographer Chris Blankenship had been scouting the area for sheep that morning when he heard barking and discovered the dog standing on a ledge.
Animal control officers Leece and Cross responded and were able to hike up the cliff to a point above the ledge where the dog was lying, but were unable to reach the animal safely, Animal Control spokeswoman Laura Atwood told Channel 2.
It wasn’t until later that Nelson Cowles arrived at the scene and identified the dog as Skunk, his family’s 11-month-old Karelian Bear Dog who had gone missing during a winter storm that passed through Anchorage on Saturday.
Cowles heard about the stranded dog through a family friend who learned of the rescue effort through social media.
Cowles proceeded to free-climb up the cliff to a position below Skunk. Together, Cowles and the animal control officers were able to secure a rope around Skunk and hoist him up to a flat area on top of the cliff where he was safely able to walk back down to the highway.
Cowles and Skunk were finally reunited at around 3:30 p.m., Atwood told Channel 2.