ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A dog from Virginia that was carried down off a mountain in the park has succumbed to illness, according to its owners.

McGwire, a 13-year-old Irish setter of Willliamsburg, Va., died Wednesday after trying to ward off cancer for a couple of years, owner Linda Tubbiolo said in an e-mail to the Bangor Daily News.

The dog was rescued June 4 after hiking up the Gorge Trail to the peak of Dorr Mountain with Tubbiolo and her husband, Paul Tubbiolo.

The dog had a tumor removed in 2006, according to Tubbiolo, but the growth returned last summer.

“McGwire died peacefully yesterday morning in the arms of his owners,” Tubbiolo wrote Wednesday in the e-mail. “McGwire lived a very healthy, happy and prosperous life in Virginia with frequent vacations to Maine until recently when it became almost impossible for him to [walk] due to the tumor constricting the nerves to his back legs.”

On the way down Gorge Trail in June, McGwire did not fall or slip but simply got to the point where he didn’t want to go anymore.

The Tubbiolos called for help and park rangers and members of Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue responded. They put the dog on a litter and in about an hour had carried him safely back to the Tubbiolos’ car, which was parked near a pond called the Tarn, next to Route 3 between downtown Bar Harbor and the village of Otter Creek.

Because it was after 5 p.m. when they got back to their car, the Tubbiolos drove from there to Belfast, where Linda Tubbiolo’s mother lives, to seek veterinary help for their dog.

“[McGwire] and I would like to thank the National Park Service Search and Rescue team again for all their dedication and hard work and of course for rescuing my dog in early June,” Tubbiolo wrote. “They showed the utmost respect and professionalism and treated McGwire like a VIP.”

At the time of the rescue, park dispatcher Leslie Dykes said the rescuers had treated McGwire like any other park visitor because they all could relate to the way the Tubbiolos felt about their dog.

“We’re all animal lovers here,” Dykes said at the time.

Dykes was not working Thursday evening and could not be reached for comment.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....