Littleton man struck by lightning was knocked out, lost 7-month-old dog

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LITTLETON, Colo. -- A Littleton man is lucky to be alive after he and a dozen other hikers survived a lightning strike on Mount Bierstadt.

Jonathan Hardman was one of three people hospitalized Sunday.

"I was walking one minute and the next minute I was waking up on the ground not able to move my hands or legs," said Hardman, who was hiking with friends and his dog. "It was like getting the wind knocked out of me and being paralyzed for a minute."

Hardman was knocked unconscious. The lightning strike killed his dog, Rambo, a 7-month old German shepherd.

"I had fallen off of a boulder because I was knocked out. I looked up and I just saw him laying there and I tried to go get him," Hardman said. "I knew he was dead because a dog just doesn't lay down like that."

First responders took Hardman to Saint Anthony's hospital and later released.

The lightning strike left a Lichtenberg mark, a tree branch like figure, on Hardman's neck. Hardman said he has frequent headaches, body aches, and slight memory loss.

"I'm happy to be alive. I just wish I had my dog here with me," Hardman said. "He didn't even finish his last bowl of food. Part of it is still in my condo because he was just so excited to go hiking with me."