RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Ramon Llamas was taking his usual hike on busy Mount Rubidoux when his dog, Mole, began whimpering and tugging at his leg.
"He was talking to me in his language, he was pulling me from my pants to go down and see the hole," the Riverside man told KTTV-TV.
The puzzled Llamas turned back up the dirt trail he'd been using. The dog led him off the path to some rocks.
In a crack between the boulders was the thin, dirty face of a man who may have been trapped there for days without food or water.
On Tuesday, the man, whose name hasn't been released, remained hospitalized for severe dehydration, but he was alert and listed in good condition, city fire Capt. Bruce Vanderhorst said.
Mole, meanwhile, was being praised as a hero.
If Mole hadn't acted, "I think it would be too late," Llamas told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "We find him at the right time."
No one reported hearing the man shout for help even though Mount Rubidoux is popular with hikers and daily exercisers.
Located within the city east of Los Angeles, it has both paved and dirt trails that can draw hundreds of people every day.
Llamas is one of them, hiking every day that he doesn't work.
His dog pulled him to a place off the dirt path and about 100 feet below the paved main access road.
When he first saw something in the boulders, he thought it might be an animal.
"It was dark and it was dusty because he was digging the dirt and I see his big eyes in his face and I thought it was a bear," Llamas said.