Strange Dog Joins Couple On Hike — Then They See What’s Written On His Name Tag
There are a number of elements that can make a hike memorable. Maybe, for instance, you spent quality time with a loved one, or the fresh air and nature helped you decompress from a week’s worth of stress. Recently, though, a Seattle man embarked a truly one-of-a-kind hike.
Thanks to his charity work, the avid hiker spent many days navigating the area’s gorgeous trails with colorful characters at his side. However, on a hike in 2018, a mysterious animal joined the excursion — and made it the most memorable hike ever!
When 40-year-old Scott Brown moved to Seattle with his wife back in 2012, it didn’t take long for the outdoors lover to involve himself in the local non-profit, “Recovery beyond Paradigm.”
With the organization, Scott, an avid hiker, connected those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions to nature, taking them on hikes to help with their recovery processes.
In April 2018, he, his wife Get Naka, and a small group of recovering men and women, prepared for a hike into Teneriffe Falls near North Bend, Washington. They hadn’t even left the parking lot when Scott spotted something.
At the entrance of the snow-covered trailhead, a curious dog watched the hikers preparing for their expedition. Scott figured he belonged to residents of one of the houses across the street.
The dog looked friendly enough and content. Most importantly, he did look familiar with his surroundings — not lost. Scott pointed the dog out to his wife. “I made a joke… that it was a bear,” he said.
When the hikers finally embarked on the 7-mile long hike, however, the dog joined the pack of humans. Did he have a milk bone addiction he was trying to shake and thought the support of others in recovery would help?
Scott and his crew navigated a few hundred yards down the trail, and the dog kept up with them every step of the way. Scott laughed. “Well,” he said, “I guess he’s coming with us.”
The dog proved a perfect hiking companion. When Scott, his wife, or any of their fellow hikers paused for a picture, the dog stopped and waited. When the group started moving again, the dog followed.
In fact, hiking the trail came so naturally to the pooch, he eventually took the lead! “He took the lead anywhere from a couple feet to way out in front, out of sight,” Scott said of the pooch.
Eventually, the hiking party reached the waterfall, where Scott took photos not of the serene landscape, but of the new friend he made along the trail. Still, he had a handful of questions.
Like, who was this dog and where had he come from? Why was he acting like the lost member of a sled dog team? How was he so supremely confident on the snowy trails? To better understand their hiking partner, Scott’s friend checked the dog’s tags for a name…
The dog wore blue tags that featured heavily chipped-away writing on each side, and Scott’s friend read his name was Smokey — like the old bear that warned us of forest fires — and learned a few other details about this mysterious dog.
See, the front of his tags said, “Hi, I’m Smokey. I live nearby so please don’t take me. I like to follow hikers sometimes.” Then, the friend flipped the tag over and read the back!
“Don’t worry,” the name tag, “I’ll go home when I get tired. My people love me a lot. Thanks for being nice!” Dying with laughter, Scott’s friend relayed the messages to Scott.
Scott didn’t believe him…until he checked the tags for himself! “And, sure enough,” he said, “coolest thing ever.” It seemed this wasn’t the first time Smokey tagged along for a hike! You have to wonder, though…
What happened in the dog’s past that the owners went out and bought those tags for him? Scott thought about this as the dog led him and the hikers back up the trailhead.
On the way back, Smokey proved just as good. He only barked once, when Scott made a semi-dangerous climb along a half-frozen embankment. “He seemed very protective for someone he just met,” Scott said.
Smokey walked with the hikers all the way back to the parking lot and sat in the cold with his new friends until they were changed out of their hiking gear and ready to hit the road. And then?
Smokey “calmly walked across the road and back into the neighborhood,” Scott said, “At the corner, he gave out a quick bark at us then continued on back home, I assume.” How cool!
If someone told Scott the dog was actually an ancient spirit sent to protect him, he might’ve believed it. Smokey proved to be an incredible — if not mysterious dog — and he made the hike one to remember!