Amelia Milling, 21, was hiking alone on a snow-covered mountain in Alaska when one of her trekking poles snapped causing her to fall. She tumbled down and hit a large boulder before sliding another 400 feet further down. Stuck on Crow Pass Trail in Chugach State Park, she was miles from help and nearly 30 miles outside of Anchorage, Alaska.
That’s when a large animal appeared out of nowhere. At first she thought it was a large wolf. But she noticed a collar around his neck which read “Nanook. Crow Pass Guide, Return to …” with his owner’s address. She realized the white husky was there to help her.
She and Nanook started back on the trail before stopping to camp for the night. When she woke up in the morning Nanook was waiting for her outside of her tent.
For the next day and a half, the seven-year-old husky refused to let her out of his site and it turned out that was a very good thing.
While trying to get home she attempted to cross Eagle River but the current was too strong and dragged her under. That’s when Nanook sprung into action and pulled her backpack straps and managed to get her out of the freezing water.
When she got back on land she was hypothermic and dazed. That’s when she pulled out her SPOT beacon, a GPS device to alert rescuers of her location, and the Alaska State Troopers rushed to her aid. She crawled into her red backpack and “Nookie” curled up beside her.
Amelia credits Nanook for saving her life. She later learned that Nanook is a trail guid dog and had actually saved a girl from that very same river a few years earlier. But Nanook’s heroic actions still took his owners completely by surprise.
“I was definitely pretty floored. It sends chills up my spine when I think about it. I certainly didn’t train him to do anything like this,” Nookie’s owner Scott Swift told CBC. “It’s a pretty powerful feeling that this dog had this instinctual ability to want to go help people.”
Swift said Nookie is a bit of free spirit and will disappears for days at a time and is often returned home by hikers or skiers who meet and travel with him along the trail.
Amelia has recovered from her ordeal and met Nanook since then to thank him. He’s been spoiled with lots of treats an been named an honorary Alaska State Trooper. He also now carries a GPS beacon on his collar, because you never know when this hero may rescue another person on Crow Pass.
Watch the heartwarming story of this rescue in the video below.