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Three dogs help injured woman survive Canadian wilderness

The search for Annette Poitras and her dogs lasted three days Image copyright Courtesy Coquitlam RCMP
Image caption The search for Annette Poitras and her dogs lasted three days

A Canadian dog walker could not have survived over two days in the wilderness without the help of her border collie, a boxer and a puggle.

Annette Poitras, 56, was walking the three dogs on Monday in the British Columbia backcountry when she fell, injured herself and lost her phone.

She was rescued on Wednesday afternoon after a long hunt by Coquitlam search and rescue.

Her husband says the three dogs helped Poitras stay alive during the ordeal.

Marcel Poitras told Global News that his wife and the dogs - a collie called Chloe, a boxer named Roxy, and Bubba, a pug-beagle mix - took care of each other over two days and two nights, with no supplies and periods of "torrential" rain.

Mr Poitras said Annette put her coat over Roxy, the short-haired boxer, to keep the dog warm.

She also watched one of the dogs dig a hole in the undergrowth to sleep in, and did the same.

Image copyright Coquitlam SAR handout
Image caption Chloe, Bubba and Roxy stayed with Annette Poitras for the two days

"One of them was cuddling [her] and one of them was on guard and the other one was looking for food," he said.

He said the dogs did not leave her side.

Over 100 searchers combed the wilderness near Eagle Mountain to try and find Ms Poitras after her husband reported her missing on Monday. Two helicopters were also used in the search.

Image copyright Courtesy North Shore Rescue
Image caption Chloe, Roxy and Bubba being rescued from the bush

Some rescuers finally heard faint cries for help and loud barking and tracked down the small group in an area described by the Mounties as "well outside the normal trail system", according to The Surrey Now Leader.

The rescue team said she was "alive and in good condition" quite far into the Coquitlam Watershed and off trail, in dense bush and swamp.

Mr Poitras says his wife is recovering and will be released from hospital this week.

He says they are looking forward to "quiet, peace, walking dogs, visiting family" now the ordeal is over.

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