When Gemma the Rottweiler-cross pulled the lead from his hand 1500ft up a mountain and vanished down the steep incline with a yelp, Ian Kennedy feared the worst.
He and his wife Jo spent the rest of the day looking for their beloved pet among the rocks and ragged paths of Scafell in the Lake District then resumed the search the next morning, but there was no sign of her.
They left a description of her with police, but as days passed and there was still no news, they resigned themselves to never seeing Gemma again.
Loyal: Gemma, an 18-month-old rottweiler, was discovered on Scafell Pike two weeks after going missing
But, incredibly, a mountain rescue team stumbled across her a fortnight later - after she had faithfully made her way back to the spot where her owners last saw her and patiently waited in wind and rain in the hope they would come back.
Gemma had lost a quarter of her bodyweight and was hobbling on an injured leg but had otherwise survived unscathed.
She has now been reunited with delighted Mr and Mrs Kennedy at their home in Wigston, Leicestershire.
The couple, both keen hill walkers, were on a long weekend break in the Lakes when 18 month old Gemma disappeared.
They had been up Scafell Pike, which at 3,210ft is England's highest mountain, and were halfway up 3,164ft Scafell when the drama unfolded around 2pm on June 14.
Today Mr Kennedy, 42, an engineer, said: 'While we were walking, Gemma took a jump from one rock to another, pulled the lead out of my hand and off she went.
'She went down the mountain but by the time I got there, she had gone. We were heartbroken.'
Dogged determination: Gemma is patted by a member of the mountain rescue after they came across her on Scafell Pike
Mrs Kennedy, 31, a fundraiser for the Meningitis Trust charity, said: 'She was on an extender lead and it was to full extension. It snapped back towards her when she broke free and that may have spooked her and made her run off.
'She'll chase after cats and footballs, but she normally comes back when you call her so something must have frightened her.
'I heard her yelp then it went quiet. We thought at first she may have fallen. We looked for her until 6pm when we had to go back to the caravan site where we were staying.
'Some walkers thought they'd seen her and we followed the direction they said she was going in but we just couldn't find her. The next day we went back to where we lost her but there was no sign of her.'
Returning home, they tearfully had to break the bad news to their daughter Rebecca, 13, who had been staying with relatives while they were away.
Mr Kennedy was astonished when two weeks later the mountain rescuers rang to say they had found Gemma.
He said: 'She was tired but happy when she saw us. We were so pleased. We were afraid someone might have found her and kept her.'
Members of Wasdale rescue team were searching for three walkers attempting the Three Peaks Challenge - which involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, in 24 hours - when they found Gemma.
Team doctor Mike Greene, who was the first to spot her, said: 'We saw three people and two dogs.
'Gemma was sitting close by. I thought she was with the walkers, but the walkers thought she was with us.
'We had a message circulated by police, saying a dog matching this description had gone missing, so we knew who she was.
'Gemma had returned to the area her owners had last been to and she was just sitting there as if she was waiting to be found.'
The Kennedys believe Gemma, who they got from a animal rescue centre last year, survived her ordeal by eating grass and sheep droppings.
Mrs Kennedy said: 'We think her leg wound was from getting the lead wrapped round it. She had chewed the lead off when they found her.
'She is a lovely, friendly dog and we're so glad to have her back.'
Pictured: Gemma the devoted Rottweiler who spent TWO WEEKS up England's highest mountain waiting for her owner | Mail Online