Scott Brown and his wife, Get Naka, are avid hikers. Brown runs a recovery program, Recovery Beyond Paradigm, which helps drug and alcohol addicts overcome their substance abuse through hiking. Although he regularly deals with many colorful characters, Brown wasn’t prepared for a certain type of companion. He and his group set out one snowy morning, wanting to reach a frozen waterfall, Teneriffe Falls, in Washington state. But their hike soon changed when they encountered a lone, ominous black dog.
Not far from the parking lot, the hike’s atmosphere quickly changed when Brown encountered a large black dog looming on the path. Since they were close to the town, he thought nothing of it. That is until the dog began to follow them. The group continued down the trail but, strangely enough, the pup never left their side. After about a hundred meters, Brown accepted they had a new member in the group. But there was something odd about this dog.
Along with their newest member, the hiking group continued on the trail. Brown was bemused by the animal, who seemed like an enjoyable and incredibly well-behaved companion. This strange realization got Brown’s head spinning about the dog’s origins. He seemed far too obedient to be a stray animal and also appeared to be incredibly well kept. He wasn’t underfed and seemed to be pleasantly mannered. But when Brown ventured onto some hazardous terrain, the dog changed.
As the group and their new companion hiked on, something alarming happened. Brown climbed across a patch of dangerous-looking terrain. When he did this, the dog began to bark. “He seemed very protective for someone he just met,” Brown said. But Brown couldn’t work out why such a seemingly well-trained animal was alone. He began to question whether the dog was a stray at all. Perhaps, he fretted, the poor pup was lost.
The dog became a true enigma for the hiking party. He seemed to be incredibly content, even stopping on the trail and waiting for everyone to take photos. The hikers could not understand how a stray could be such a happy pup. They began to speculate whether the pooch may just be relieved to find people. They continued with their new four-legged leading the way. And then, danger struck.
As the trail grew longer, it too became more challenging. The cold air began to stab the hikers’ lungs. But, astonishingly, the dog continued on his hike unabated. Brown was shocked, as the group was struggling. Surely, this couldn’t be good for their canine companion. The icy trail was slippery as they got closer to the falls. More often than not now, the group was encountering tricky ground. They were venturing into the unknown and could soon be on the brink of survival.
Brown started regretting his decision to take his party on this trail. Furthermore, he now felt responsible for the animal as well. He promised that he would do everything to keep him safe. But, as though he were defying Brown’s pledge, the dog continued on ahead. “It’s just a matter of time,” Brown thought. “Surely, no dog can survive going so far.” Then he saw what was around the pup’s neck, and was shocked.
Things were beginning to get harder by the second. Every step was more dangerous than the last. The icy air gripped the hikers as they gasped for breath. But, determined as ever, the dog marched on. Brown became increasingly concerned about the canine’s well-being. He even started to flirt with the idea of adopting him. Surely, the dog must be lost. But who would let such a beautiful creature wander these horrible hills alone
Finally, the party reached the falls and, surprisingly, their determined sidekick was still with them. Making your way across a seven-mile-long, treacherous terrain is difficult for humans, let alone a dog. Was he so glad to find some company that he soldiered on with the group? And who would abandon such an amazing dog? Thoughts were racing through Brown’s head about the poor animal. And then, he saw the dog’s shimmering ID tag.
Brown couldn’t take it anymore and decided to get better acquainted with the pooch. But as he read the dog’s ID tag, he was shocked. “Hi, my name is Smokey. I live nearby so please don’t take me. I like to follow hikers sometimes”. The opposite side of the tag was just as peculiar. “Don’t worry. I’ll go home when I get tired. My people love me a lot. Thanks for being nice!”
It would appear that Smokey makes a habit out of this lifestyle, or at least that’s what his tag suggests. What an honor Brown felt to be chosen by this four-legged adventurer! Relieved to know that the pup had a loving home, Brown and the group continued to revel in Smokey’s company. They also took in the beauty of the frozen Teneriffe Falls. The hikers then began the 7-mile hike back – just to be greeted by another surprise.
Through their journey together, Brown learned the nature and story of this incredible dog. Smokey is no mere house pet – rather, he is a fearless hiking guide, filled with wanderlust. He is happy to help you out on the tricky trail to Teneriffe Falls, and you would be lucky to have him. Fortunate to have lived this experience, Brown went on to share the amazing story on social media. And the response was unexpected.
The once-unknown black mountain dog has since become an internet sensation. Thanks to Brown sharing his hiking journey, Smokey is now a celebrity of sorts. Brown spoke of the group’s adventures on his Facebook page, which gained massive attention. Shares, likes, comments, and video views blew up. And what does the pup aim to do with his newfound fame? Continue hiking, of course.
When the hikers arrived back in the parking lot, Smokey was still around. It was only when they began to change their clothes that the pup wandered off toward the town. “He gave one quick bark at us”, Brown shared. “Then continued on back home I assume.” The adorable fluffball continues to guide hikers to the falls. And then he gets to go home and snuggle up in a warm, loving household. Journey on, Smokey!
But if your dog goes missing and isn’t a serial roamer like Smokey, what should you do? Call the local humane societies and animal shelters to see if anyone has brought your dog in. If your pup is microchipped, which they should all be, they can trace him back to you immediately. Even if they haven’t seen your pet yet, at least they will know to be on the lookout. Check the online classifieds to see if anyone has found a dog, and maybe put an ad in there yourself. Losing a pet can be horribly stressful, but take heart — according to the ASPCA, more than 90 percent of lost dogs find their way home. The best bet? Keep your dog in an enclosed area or on a leash, and include tags and a microchip. Better safe than sorry!