Nanook (also known as “Nookie”) is a hero.
The 7-year-old husky helped rescue an injured hiker last week in the Eagle River Valley of Alaska.
“He’s Alaska’s version of Lassie,” Lt. Eric Olsen, with the Alaska State Troopers, told the Anchorage Daily News.
Amelia Milling, 21, was hiking and fell hundreds of feet when one of her poles broke. Nanook showed up soon after. Milling read his tag, which proclaimed Nanook to be a Crow Creek guide dog. His owner’s name and number was on the tag. Dogs like Nanook frequent the area and escort hikers. Nanook guided her back to the trail, staying with her as she made her way back to camp.
Milling fell again while attempting to cross the Eagle River and Nanook helped pull her from the water. She attempted to lie down and recover, but Nanook would not stop licking her. When Milling finally activated her emergency locator beacon, Nanook relented, lying down. A rescue chopper showed, and she and Nanook rode it to Anchorage, where she was treated for bumps and bruises and released.
Milling, who hails from Tennessee, is deaf. She attends Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Her mother, speaking from her home in Chattanooga, told reporters for the Democrat and Chronicle that her daughter has been an avid hiker for five years and doesn’t let her deafness stop her from anything.
She had planned a three-day hike and was fine until she encountered more snow than expected.
“I’m a Southerner, so I wasn’t thinking about snow,” Milling said via an interpreter.
Nanook was returned to his owner.