It seems that Baxter had quite an epic adventure, in reports by the AP and the Daily Mail online it's said that "Baxter had become tired, with sore paws and unable to walk," during the 5-mile hike, his paws not being accustomed to such rough terrain. Apparently, when his owners were unable to carry him out of the wilderness, they decided to try and camp overnight so that Baxter could rest, but the Sheriff received a report that they had not returned and didn't have appropriate camping gear or warm clothes. Fearing for the safety of the hikers, search and rescue teams were deployed. In an interesting twist of events, it seems the search and rescuers were injured while looking for the group, and were also unable to carry out the dog. At this point, a helicopter was radioed for, but after being secured in the litter, Baxter was (understandably) panicked by the noise and dust of the chopper. The helicopter was then forced to land and shut down to calm the dog. Baxter was coaxed inside the cabin by his owners and the rescue team, after which everyone was able to return home.
I have perhaps one word for the unfortunate National Lampoons-like plot line Baxter and his owners found themselves wrapped up in: Debacle -/diËbakÉl/ Noun: A sudden and ignominious failure; a fiasco.