When going hiking, it could always help to go with a buddy.
Just recently in June 2018, Amelia Milling decided to take a three-day hike in the Eagle River Valley in Alaska, all by herself.
This would be a risk knowing that she’s deaf, and it’s clear that she wouldn’t have attempted this if she didn’t know what she was doing.
But on the second day of the hike, disaster struck.
While trying to make it down a mountain, the woman slipped and fell over 300 feet, running into a big rock.
She wasn’t done there, as Milling fell another 300 feet down the mountain. There was more snow on the trail than the woman had anticipated, and this led to her literal downfall.
Her injuries were bad enough to the point where she couldn’t even move, as she was in shock.
But at that same moment, it appeared that she was no longer alone.
A husky appeared in front of Milling.
The woman at first thought he was a wolf, but then she read his collar that said “Crow Pass guide,” so Milling assumed he was there to lead her out.
And having no other options, she followed the dog.
“I really wanted to get out of there,” Milling told Anchorage Daily News.
Powering through her injuries, along with having her face licked by the husky at times, the two pushed on.
Milling camped out overnight with the dog, and he made sure to stand guard over her.
“That helped me have motivation to keep going,” she said.
But they weren’t out of the woods yet. That next day, Milling had tried to cross a river by herself, but it backfired on her as the river current started to pull her down.
Upon realizing this, the dog jumped into the water and pulled Milling out by her backpack strap.
It seems that the dog was Milling’s guardian angel.
Milling utilized a device which alerted emergency services to her position, she and the dog were airlifted to Anchorage, where she received treatment for her injuries.
The dog, named Nanook, has been a mountain “guide” for years. As his collar says, he is known for going on the trail to help out fellow hikers in their travels.
In this case, he saved a life, and it’s not the first time Nanook has done so. He was also credited for saving another woman from the river, years prior.
Nanook has never had any official training—it just goes with his gut.
Regardless of how the first try ended, Milling does plan on continuing her hike one day, but next time, she’ll know to have someone accompany her.
“Maybe I’ll borrow the dog,” she said.