A PET dog survived getting lost on Britain’s highest mountain thanks to kind-hearted climbers who sent him home in a taxi.
Harris, a border terrier, went missing halfway up 1345m (4,411ft) Ben Nevis amid temperatures of minus three degrees centigrade and fading light.
Owners Christoff and Alison Du Plessis, both dentists in nearby Fort William, feared the worst after friends phoned with the bad news that Harris had run off chasing deer.
Two climbers found Harris later in the afternoon, an hour’s walk away from where he was last seen, and called the number on his tag.
The call was picked up hundreds of miles away in Spalding, Lincolnshire, by Christoff’s mother at the address where the couple used to live.
She gave the rescuers their new address and they then arranged for a local taxi to ferry the pooch – none the worse for his ordeal – back home.
Now Harris’s owners are desperate to find the climbers to thank them for saving their pet.
Harris had been enjoying a walk with Dutch friends of Christoff and Alison on the north face of Ben Nevis when he got lost.
Christoff, 28, said: “He just spotted the deer and took off without a trace.”
“Thankfully my wife was in with patients when I got the call about Harris otherwise I think she would have flipped.
“I was worried about him because they were pretty high up and it was very cold, but thankfully the two climbers found him and called the number on the tag.”
“Thankfully my mum picked up the phone and cordinated where to drop him off.”
He added: “Harris looked pretty delighted with himself and was still very excited when he came back.
“I think my friends were more relieved than he was.”
Mr Du Plessis is keen to find the two climbers who went out of their way to help his lost dog.
He said: “We really want to thank them.”
Alison, 29, posted on Facebook thanking everyone for their efforts in finding Harris.
She said: “Massive thank you to everyone who shared information on social media posts this afternoon to help find Harris.
“He had a mini Highland adventure chasing deer on the trails around Ben Nevis North Face then enjoyed a taxi ride back to Fort William, organised by 2 climbers who I would love to personally thank if anyone knows who they may be?”
The private taxi fare for Harris was £10 after he was picked up from the north face car park and delivered to his owners’ dental practice in Fort William.
The cabbie, Raymond Munro, 40, said: “Me and the two lads managed to grab the wee dog and put him in the car then I delivered him back safely to the owners.”