Dog Saves Man's Life During Ski Accident

Dog Saves Man's Life During Ski Accident

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His back was broken but not his spirit on a back-country ski outing in Colorado, Leonard Somers and his Siberian husky decided to take one more run.

That's when his skis caught something beneath the snow sending him flying where he landed on a huge tree trunk.

FOX's Jon Bowman shows us Somers' dog no doubt saved his life.

Friends say it was like a scene out of an old Lassie episode where Timmy sends his four-legged best friend for help.

"My ski hit a rock and when my ski hit the rock it stopped me and lurched me forward," Somers said.

It was a lurch and landing Leonard Somers will never forget.

"When I lurched forward there was a huge downed tree lying in the snow. The end of the tree the roots and everything its an old kind of a dead tree it was frozen missed my helmet and one of the roots jammed in the back of my neck and dislocated my c6 and c7 vertebra," Somers said.

An expert skier, he quickly found himself unable to get back up to continue skiing.

"And when I did I was like what's going on here I couldn't move one of my arms was trapped underneath me and snow was in my face," Somers said. That's when his pup began helping dig away the snow.

"She came up and started helping me dig the snow away from my face. She was laying on top of me the whole time kind of looking at me like what can I do to help what can I do to help when I tried to get up again that's when I noticed I couldn't move my legs," Somers said,

When we asked owner Somers how cold it was on Berthoud pass, he said it was a one dog night. Juneau being that one dog that kept him warm.

"I tried to yell for help but when I dislocated my vertebrae, I'd lost my voice quite a bit," Somers said.

Somers says he and Juneau laid there for close to a half hour before he could hear other cross country skiers nearby that's when the Juneau went lassie.

"I looked at her and said go get them she actually ran off and they had a dog with them and she somehow brought the dog back to me," Somers said.

When the skiers dog wouldn't come back to them they followed and Somers was able to yell loud enough for them to hear all because Juneau wouldn't let the other dog leave.

The next bit of luck... One of the rescuers was a trauma surgeon at St Anthony's

"He kind of monitored me sent one of the people that was with him out to get search and rescue and call 911," Somers said.

Today Somers is rehabbing at Craig Hospital confident he will walk again someday he is thankful for his dog who brought back help.

"I guess without Juneau here I would probably not be alive today," Somers said.

For her part in the 4.5 hour rescue process she is getting PETA's Heroic Dog Award.

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