A Washington man died while on a hike with his dog in a dense forest, and for two days, the animal refused to leave his side, barking until rescuers found the man’s body.
The incident happened in Pierce County, with the unnamed man leaving on Wednesday with the family dog, Daisy. When the hiker did not return that night, his wife called police and search efforts started. As the News Tribune reported, the 64-year-old man did not leave a note about where he would be headed but had conducted internet searches about geocaching locations in a nearby wooded area. Phone records showed that the man was in the area of Alder Lake.
Using that information, search and rescue teams began looking the next morning in those wooded areas. Later that afternoon, they found the man’s vehicle parked in a wooded area with a list of geocaching locations, so search members staked out all of those locations.
As search crew members honed in on one of those locations, they heard a dog barking and followed the sound, leading them to a steep embankment, the News Tribune reported. After half an hour of working their way through the rough terrain, the search crews found Daisy still next to the body of the dead man.
Because the area was so thick, authorities said the man’s body may have never been found were it not for the dog’s actions.
“Without the barking of his loyal companion Daisy, we never would have located the missing man,” the Sheriff’s Department wrote in a news release.
This is not the first viral story of hikers and dogs working together. Back in 2014, a woman was hiking with her dog in Oregon on Christmas Day when the yellow Labrador’s leash broke and she fell 150 feet down a steep embankment. As The Inquisitr reported, the hiker climbed to the bottom — she was sure that the dog had not survived the fall — but instead found that the animal was on a ledge 70 feet above.
All day yesterday our deputies & Search & Rescue Teams were out searching for a missing hiker near Eatonville. While this story has a sad ending, the love & loyalty of the missing man's dog Daisy will amaze you. We never would have found him w/o her help: https://t.co/OuORgqx0dw pic.twitter.com/9GMkhd7444
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) April 26, 2019
The hiker alerted the Oregon Humane Society, which dispatched an eight-person team to climb down and rescue the dog. They were able to secure a harness around the dog and lift her back up to safety, finding that she had suffered only minor injuries.
While the story of the Washington hiker did not have a happy ending, the loyal actions of Daisy allowed rescue crews to find the man’s body and give some closure to his family.