Hikers Ciara Nolan and Jean Francois Bonnet rescued Neesha, a Golden Retriever, on February 6, 2021, in Co Wicklow.
Ciara Nolan and Jean Francois Bonnet, who are both doctors, are enjoying a bit of viral fame after they bravely rescued Neesha, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever, who had been missing in the snowy Wicklow Mountains for two weeks.
Jean Francois shared a video of the duo's rescue on TikTok, which has gone to be liked more than 185k times within 24 hours:
Speaking with the Irish radio program East Coast FM on February 8, Bonnet said: “It was a very bad day - it was cold, snowy, windy, the visibility wasn’t great.
“We were almost at the top when my girlfriend Ciara screamed ‘there is a dog! There is a dog!’
“That poor thing was curled up against the rock. She was petrified, freezing cold. She didn’t have enough energy to bark or stand.
“We tried to get her to walk, she couldn’t stand. So we covered her in our spare clothes, we gave her some food.
“Ciara put her on my back and we started going down the mountain, but it was very icy and rocky, so we fell a few times. Ciara came up with a good idea - she strapped her to my backpack. She used her scarf to make a little nest for her.”
Ciara and Jean Francois carried the injured pup roughly 10km to safety and ultimately brought her to the nearby Ash Animal Rescue, which has since said: "Everybody agrees that a heartwarming story like this is just what the doctor ordered."
Jean Francois added: “We were very happy to be there at the right time and find her."
Neesha’s owner Erina explained that her husband and two adult children headed to Lugnaquilla to enjoy the snow on January 23 with Neesha and their other dog, a German Shepherd named Harley. The two dogs “were let off the lead so they could have a bit of freedom and roll around in the snow and go and explore.”
Towards the end of the outing, a deer popped out, startling the dogs who “bolted.” Thankfully, Harley was found nearby the following day, but not Neesha.
Erina, who now says that Neesha is doing well, has nothing but kind words now for Ciara and Jean Francois after the lucky rescue.
“We were so, so relieved and happy," she said. "We have no words to thank them both for what they did to bring her back home. They are just absolutely amazing and unbelievable. We just can’t thank them enough.”