Two Dogs Comfort Each Other After Their Owner Dies In Tragic Hiking Accident In Colorado

by : Niamh Shackleton on :
Two Dogs Comfort Each Other After Their Owner Dies In Tragic Hiking Accident In ColoradoMr. Bones & Co/GoFundMe

A picture of two dogs comforting each other following the tragic death of their owner is enough to bring the hardest of souls to tears.

Tonka and Little P’s owner Kris Busching tragically passed away last week after Kris, his friend Mark, and the two dogs, got lost on a hiking trip in Colorado.


Unprepared for the events, Kris and the dogs attempted to head down to a creek for water on their second day of being lost.

TonkaMr. Bones & Co/GoFundMe

On their way down, while holding Tonka and Little P, Kris lost his footing, causing the three of them to end up at the bottom of the canyon. While the dogs survived the fall, Kris sadly did not.

Mark, who had stayed at the top of the canyon, lit signal fires in the hope of being found. The following day a rescue team arrived and found that both Tonka and Little P had stayed by Kris’ side.


Refusing to leave the dogs in Colorado, Mark drove the three of them back to Long Island, New York, to give them to Kris’ family.

Animal welfare organisation Mr. Bones & Co then stepped in to help and took the dogs to an emergency vet, to give the family time to grieve.

Tonka and PMr. Bones & Co/GoFundMe

A picture of the pair taken at the rescue centre shows Tonka and Little P comforting one another after they ‘lost their world suddenly’.


Both dogs had X-rays taken after arriving at the vets, and while Little P only had superficial injuries, Tonka had sustained a badly broken leg.

After the two dogs have recovered, the rescue centre are looking for a new home for both Tonka an Little P together – Mr. Bones & Co are determined to not split the brothers up.

Mr. Bones & Co/GoFundMe

As well as caring for the dogs, Mr. Bones & Co set up a GoFundMe page to help Kris’ family afford the medical costs, since they are ‘overwhelmed with funeral costs’.


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As of today, April 20, the page has raised over $20,000, beating their target by more than $12,000.

After raising more money than needed, Mr. Bones & Co explained what else they’re going to do with the donations on top of Tonka and Little P’s care.

TonkaMr. Bones & Co/GoFundMe

The rescue centre wrote:


The fundraiser for TONKA and LITTLE P has raised more than twice the funds needed for these boys and we are blown away by the support and generosity of so many people. Due to COVID-19 we were forced to cancel our annual benefit event, Rescue the Runway, and we have been struggling with funding because of it. The extra support has been vital to cover our preexisting expenses leftover from our medical cases last month, as well as Hooch’s cancer surgery. We will apply the remaining funds to future cases we will pull into our #OneLuckyPup program and continue to pay it forward.

We wish Tonka a speedy recovering, and hope the pair find a new loving home together following the tragic passing of their owner. Our thoughts are with Kris’ family.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, Colorado, Dogs, gofundme, New York


GoFundMe and 1 other
  1. GoFundMe

    Saving Tonka & Little P: In Memory of Kris

  2. People

    2 Dogs Sweetly Comfort Each Other After Owner Died in Tragic Accident While Hiking with Them