Amelia Milling thought she was totally prepared for her 3-day solo hike on the Crow Pass trail in Chugach State Park, Alaska. But accidents can strike at any time. Thanks to a dog named Nanook, Amelia lived to tell the tale of a dog with a mission. Watch the video to get the whole story behind Nanook, the self-proclaimed guide dog of Crow Creek.
Got tissues? This story is moving
When Amelia’s hiking pole snapped, she tumbled down 300 feet of snowy cliff, and landed, dazed and bruised, in an unfamiliar part of the country way off course and with no trails in sight.
What she did see was a white dog running straight towards her, tail wagging. The dog’s collar read ‘Nanook, Crow Creek Guide Dog.’
Home on the (mountain) range
Nanook led Amelia towards the nearest trailhead, but Crow Creek was running high, and Amelia lost her footing trying to ford the river. Nanook was there to pull her out of the water by her backpack.
He then licked her face to keep her awake; hypothermia made it hard to stay conscious as she changed clothes and got into her sleeping bag. Amelia stayed conscious long enough to pull out her emergency GPS beacon and signal for rescue.
View from the rescue helicopter
The state troopers zeroed in on Amelia’s beacon and got sight of her red sleeping bag (and fluffy Nanook) from the air. Amelia, who is hearing impaired, wrote out her story for the rescue team, who personally delivered Nanook back to Scott and his family.
On the road again
Nanook has an uncanny ability to find lost and struggling hikers in his home territory of Chugach State Park. Since news broke of Amelia’s astonishing rescue, Nanook’s dad Scott Swift has received more stories of Nanook encounters from park visitors. The amazing part is that so far, Amelia’s is the third major rescue to Nanook’s credit.
Scott created a Nanook Facebook page so folks would have a place to share their Nanook encounters.
Nanook resting between adventures
Scott estimates the 7-year-old dog hikes the trail about 10 times a year, year-round. He regularly receives photos from hikers and skiers who Nanook finds along the trail.
Nanook as a puppy
You can follow Nookie’s ongoing adventures on his Facebook page.
Hat Tip: Anchorage Daily News