Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area park ranger Kris Salapek is being hailed as a hero after carrying a huge dog suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion down rocky slopes on Tuesday. As temperatures rose into the 90s, pediatric nurse Lexie Daniel and her fellow hikers encountered a frantic man whose dog was laying along the trail panting heavily.
Daniel and her friends offered their water, but it did not seem to help. According to Daniel's now-viral Facebook post, Salapek arrived and made the quick decision to hoist the large animal onto his shoulders. After traversing the rocky path for a couple miles, Salapek stopped to lay the dog in a cool stream before continuing further with him back on his shoulders.
Salapek had sent the dog's owner down the trail ahead of him so that he could pull his car around and be ready to take the overheating pup to a veterinary hospital. When the pair arrived at the bottom of the treacherous slope, the dog appeared to be showing signs of recovery, even lifting its head.
Daniel estimates that Salapek carried the dog on his shoulders for at least an hour.
"This is a HERO," Daniel wrote. "We are so lucky to have rangers like this [who] put even animals before themselves. This ranger deserves insane recognition and a standing ovation for his bravery, selflessness, and strength."
Daniel updated her Facebook post to report that the dog was still alive and expected to make a full recovery.