Richard Moore and his dog Finny, a little Jack Russell Terrier, had gone missing on August 19, 2023. The 71-year-old Pagosa Springs, Colorado, resident had set out on a hike to Blackhead Peak and failed to return home. Taos Search & Rescue searched for the missing hiker for close to two months without any success. Helicopters and canine teams were deployed in the area but failed to find a trace of the missing hiker and his dog. According to Archuleta County Sheriff Mike Le Roux, local, state, and national search and rescue teams had spent nearly 2,000 cumulative hours searching for Moore and his dog.
On Monday, October 30, 2023, a hunter discovered Moore’s body in the Lower Blanco drainage basin with his dog Finny faithfully watching over him. It is almost a miracle the little dog survived for almost two and a half months in the wilderness. Following the discovery of the body, Taos Search & Rescue retrieved Moore’s remains and took Finny to the local veterinarian. Finny has since been reunited with Moore’s family.
While the cause of Moore’s death remains unknown, officials say foul play is not suspected in Moore’s passing. Blackhead Peak is known for its challenging terrain, especially on the western approach which Moore apparently had attempted alone on a day where temperatures reached the high 80s.
We hope his family will find some comfort in the fact that loyal Finny never moved from Moore’s side and that he was not alone in his final hours.