43-year-old woman emerged on her own from the rugged Fall Creek section of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park early Saturday morning after spending two chilly nights there while rescuers looked for her.
“She followed her dog down the trail, thought the dog knew where it was going, and got lost,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Ynez.
Goes to show how easy it is to get lost, and that you can’t always assume your dog has great orienteering skills.
In 2000 I was hiking alone high in the mountains just south of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah in the evening. It was well past sunset and I was still a long ways from the van as I retraced my route. My two golden retrievers Molly and Hana were well ahead of me on the dirt road. However, they both stopped and looked back at me at the place where we needed to leave the road and go cross-country through the forest down to the creek and back to the vehicle. I was quite impressed that they knew this.
My friend Jilda Loomis on Kaua’i told me that she was hiking on the Sleeping Giant outside of Kapa’a with a friend’s golden retriever. She mistimed her trip and had to return in the dark. She told the dog to find the way home and kept her hand on his back. The dog led her all the way to the parking lot, presumably with his super sniffer nose.
Hmmm, seems like the golden retrievers know how to get back. Perhaps breed matters?
What about you? Has your dog ever helped out when you were lost? Or done just the opposite? Share!