Updated: Jan 2, 2019
Nanook, the husky hero, is a 'modern-day Lassie' who came to the rescue of a deaf hiker who fell 700 feet down an Alaskan mountain.
Dogs are the best and we don't deserve them... but you already know that.
A dog is being hailed for saving the life of a deaf student who was struggling through the Alaskan wilderness.
Hero pup alert!
Better yet, after news of the rescue was shared online, more people came forward with addition stories of the pup’s heroism.
21-year-old Amelia Milling had been on a solo 3-day hike through the Alaskan wilderness in June when she slipped in the snow and started to fall. After falling for roughly 300 feet, she crashed into a boulder and tumbled down another 300 feet. When she finally came to a stop, she was dazed, bruised, and bleeding.
But that's when Nanook, a husky who lives at the trailhead with his owner, showed up to help.
Have no fear, Nanook is near
In an interview, Milling said she thought the 7-year-old dog was a wolf until she saw that he had a collar and dog tag stating that he was a “Crow Pass Guide”. The injured Tennessee college student quickly inferred that the dog was there to help her – and she was correct.
Nanook led Milling back to the trail and hiked with her until it got dark and she pitched camp. The husky then stayed with her through the night until she continued her journey the next day.
“He gave me the motivation to get up and walk another seven miles,” Milling told CBC. “If he didn’t show up, I probably wouldn’t have gotten back up and kept walking.”
Nanook – also known as “Nookie” – came to Milling’s rescue again when they came across a freezing, fast-moving river. After watching Nookie cross the water, Milling gauged the situation and believed that she could follow suit. She tried to cross it once, only to fail. When she tried to cross a second time, she lost her footing and got pulled into the current.
For 15 minutes, she struggled against the water until finally Nanook grabbed a strap of her backpack with his teeth and started pulling her to shore. Fearing the onset of hypothermia, she curled up in her sleeping bag. She'd intended to wait awhile and see how she felt, but Nanook kept licking her face until she activated her emergency locator, Milling told The Anchorage Daily News. Then he curled up to wait for help with her. Alaska State Troopers aboard a rescue helicopter landed to pick up Nanook and Milling, who recounted her harrowing tale to troopers in a notebook.
State troopers then personally returned Nanook to his human Scott Swift, who told The Anchorage Daily News that Nanook routinely sets off on his own into the state park to accompany hikers. Nanook had previously pulled a young girl from the same river, Smith told The Anchorage Daily news.
"He's been doing it for years now," Smith told the publication about Nanook, who has no formal search-and-rescue training. "He just does it on his own.”