As It Happens

Hiker's dog saved his life when they were hit by lightning

Jonathan Hardman says his dog Rambo saved his life when he took some of the lightning bolt that hit them both in Colorado this weekend
Jonathan Hardman's dog, Rambo, on Mount Bierstadt in Colorado (Jonathan Tyler Hardman)

Hiker Jonathan Hardman survived a lightning strike in the Colorado mountains last weekend. Doctors believe his dog Rambo may have saved his life.

Hardman tells As It Happens guest-host Susan Bonner: "We started making our way down Mount Bierstadt when a cloud moved in. I was hurrying up, when next thing I know I felt extreme pain. Then I woke up with blood on the inside of my sunglasses...every muscle in my body had tightened up. It was a very intense feeling, I had no use of my arms or legs, I had been knocked unconscious."

Hardman says: "When I came to, I sat there trying to regain my breath. The first thing I started thinking of was 'where's my dog?' Then I started crawling around...yelling for my dog. I didn't see him right away, then I spotted him up there on top of a rock just laying there. And, you know, a dog doesn't just lay like that. He was right there next to me when it all happened. The charge went through both of our bodies, and that was how he passed. When I got to the hospital, the doctors told me that had he not been there, I would not have made it. Rambo helped take some of that electrical current out of my body."

Jonathan Hardman and his dog, Rambo, on Mount Bierstadt in Colorado. (Jonathan Tyler Hardman)

Hardman says that he is now recovering well, at least physically. And he's trying his best to cope with losing his dog Rambo: "He was a beautiful dog." Hardman adds that he may get a new dog one day, "to fill that void that he's left in my life."

In the meantime, Hardman says he's still unable to drive, but "I have a friend that's going to take me out there and we'll get my dog Rambo and we're going to go put him to rest out in the mountains, where he belongs. He loved it out there. As soon as he saw me getting my backpack out -- he knew. He would always start jumping and getting all excited."

Jonathan Hardman recovering from lightning strike in Denver hospital (Jonathan Tyler Hardman)