Getting injured during a long hiking trip can be a serious problem – especially if there aren’t any people nearby. Hiker Amelia Milling took a rough fall when she was hiking through Crow Pass National Historic Trail in Anchorage, Alaska. Amelia needed help and was cold, but luckily, a seven-year-old husky was there to make the save.
The Alaskan husky Nanook knew just what to do when he saw Amelia in distress.
The woman was trying to cross Eagle River, but that didn’t go exactly as planned. She fell down from a relatively high spot and her movement was impaired. Almost immediately after she fell, the four-footer Nanook, who she met just a day before, didn’t hesitate to help. The loyal pup managed to get Amelia and pull her out of the river to get her to higher and drier ground.
“She slipped and fell, and the dog was able to save her and get her back to shore,” Lt. Eric Olsen of the Alaska State Troopers told ADN.
The state troopers received a distress signal from an emergency locator beacon and a helicopter was immediately dispatched. The lieutenant and pilot Tab Burnett then found Amelia along with Nanook sitting safely on the riverbank. The white and loyal dog immediately made a good impression, and the two state troopers airlifted the pup out of the river as well to make sure he didn’t get hurt too.
“She slipped and fell, and the dog was able to save her and get her back to shore,” Lt. Olsen told.
Luckily, Amelia’s injuries weren’t too severe. She was treated for a couple of bumps and bruises and her condition improved fast.
Amelia, a 21-year-old visual media student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, couldn’t be any prouder of her four-legged rescuer and new best friend.
She planned to take a three-day hiking trip but was surprised by the amount of snow on the hiking path. She had already lost her grip while descending into the Eagle River Valley before making the fall into the river. On the first day, her trekking poles were already gone, and it was a rock hidden underneath a hefty amount of snow that eventually led to her taking a hefty bump and her first encounter with Nanook.
“I’m a Southerner, so I wasn’t thinking about snow,” Amelia mentioned. “I felt like I was flying.”
She landed around 300 feet further and although she was banged up, the snow managed to break most of her fall. She saw a dog coming closer, and the pup immediately comforted her.
“My first response was, where’s the owner?” Amelia recalls. “Then I saw the collar and it said (the dog) was a Crow Pass guide, and I realized that he was there to help me.”
Nanook and Amelia definitely bonded with each other, and the pup helped Amelia to find her way back to the trail. When it was nighttime, Nanook loyally waited outside of Amelia’s tent and the two continued their journey together.
When the two wanted to get across Eagle River, Amelia miscalculated a step and fell into the cold and deep water.
The young woman was noticeably struggling to get back to shore, but Nanook jumped in the freezing water right away.
“I was struggling,” she said. “I really wanted to get out of there.”
Amelia was absolutely freezing and immediately got into her sleeping bag. Nanook tried to keep her warm by licking her face and she also managed to activate the emergency beacon to notify the state troopers.
When the both of them were airlifted, the troopers eventually realized that Nanook wasn’t Amelia’s dog, but a guide dog who belonged to Scott Swift. The pup’s owner told them that Nanook likes to accompany hikers, and that’s he’s been doing it for years.
In fact, this isn’t the first time that Nanook has saved someone from the cold river!
“This is the second time I’ve heard of he has saved someone from drowning in that river,” Scott told.
As for Amelia, she has completely recovered and is still determined to finish her hiking trail. Although this time, she’ll probably take some extra back-up with her.
“I may do that with a friend,” she said. “And maybe I’ll borrow the dog.”
“I believe the dog is a guardian angel,” she added.
“I told him several times that I love him and I’ll never forget him.”
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