Nothing would stop the 21-year-old Amelia Milling from doing what she loves, not even her hearing disability.
With a determined heart, Ameilia decided to explore the wonders of the world and to conquer the Crow Pass Trail in Chugach State Par is included in her bucket list!
What was supposed to be a three-day hike ended in an unfortunate accident. Amelia slipped and fell 700 feet down the side of the white mountain and hit a large boulder. The great fall badly injured her leg and made her journey a lot harder and riskier than before.
As the young woman was inspecting how bad her injuries are, she noticed a white figure of an animal approaching her location. Thinking it was a wolf, she began to panic but to her surprise the white figure turned out to be a dutiful Husky.
Amelia reached out for the dog’s tag and learned that his name is Nanook. The Husky wagged his tail excitedly and barked in response, as if re-assuring the injured Amelia. Nanook led Amelia back up to the hiking trail and stayed with her for the entire day.
He even spent the night with her and snuggled against her to keep her body warm and comfortable.
The following day, Amelia planned to continue on with her journey, however, her injured leg was not healing nor getting any better.
When Amelia and Nanook crossed path with a freezing river, Amelia stepped on it, thinking that it would be safe.
But the current of the freezing river was too strong for the injured Amelia, and so she was pulled under. Fortunately for the young woman, Nanook was able to grab her and pull her back to safety.
It was then that Amelia realized that she couldn’t continue her hike. Using the SOS signal on her satellite phone, Amelia was able to call for help.
Nanook, the husky, stayed with Amelia and did not leave her side until the Alaska State Troopers came to her rescue.
Only after she was back home did she discover that she was not the first person Nanook has saved. Apparently, Nanook and his owner reside near the popular Crow Pass Trail and had rescued a lot of hikers when he’s enjoying trekking along the trails of the white mountain.
In fact, since Nanook has saved and helped a lot of hikers, his owner engraved Crow Pass Guide Dog into his collar to let hikers know that Nanook can help them survive the tricky mountain.
“Nookie was nothing short of a modern-day, Lassie (type) hero,” Alaska State Trooper Lt. Eric Olsen, one of the Alaska State Troopers shared in an interview.
According to Nanook’s owner, the dutiful husky has already saved three hikers which included a little girl who was also trapped in the same river Amelia was pulled in.
But he also said that he wouldn’t be surprised if there are more hikers whose life Nanook has saved.
To find out and keep track of the number of people Nanook has encountered in the Crow Pass trail, his owner finally decided to create a Facebook page dedicated to Nanook’s heroic deed. There, people who encountered and met Nanook can share their incredible stories.
“Nanook completed the trail with me 08/09. What a dog! I grew up watching Balto and it really was the inspiration behind my month visit to Alaska to hike.
So to hike a stage of the route of the Iditarod something Balto would’ve technically passed through AND be guided by a “defendant” has really made my trip and will live for a very long time in the memory!” Angus Clogg, one of the numerous hikers who are lucky enough to traverse with Nanook shared.
“I didn’t realize we were hiking with a celebrity. Good boy Nookie!” Brett Dunning shared accompanied by an awesome picture of Nanook.
True enough, not all heroes wear cape. Some of the modern-day heroes hide in the identity of a loyal, loving, and smart dog who is willing to be of help and of service to other people just like Nanook!
Photos | Nanook Swiftie and Amelia Milling