There’s a reason why dogs are known as a man’s best friend.
Dogs are pack animals, which means they make close connections and form strong bonds with their peers.
Thanks to the domestication of dogs, our canine friends now consider humans “their own” – and, in fact, couldn’t survive without us.
If you have a dog who loves to befriend everyone from the mailman to the window cleaner, you’ll know exactly how clingy dogs can be (in the best way possible, of course).
We’ve heard of dogs keeping people company in all sorts of scenarios – but how about a dog that likes to hike with strangers?
One man in Seattle was greeted by an inquisitive canine while hiking Teneriffe Falls near North Bend, Washington.
40-year-old Scott Brown trains hikers who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, working with a non-profit called “Recovery beyond Paradigm”.
On an early morning in the wilderness, Scott and his group of hikers were preparing for their trek when they came across a black dog.
Speaking to ABC News, Scott said that he’d first noticed the pup in an empty parking lot.
This wasn’t completely worrying, as there was a neighborhood close by. But had the black dog strayed from home? Were his owners missing him?
Scott didn’t think much of it, thinking that perhaps the dog’s owner was somewhere nearby.
When dogs get taken on the same walking routes every day, they come to know them as well as we do. It’s not uncommon for a dog to take a trail at his own pace while his owner walks on ahead or behind.
This dog, however, stuck by Scott and his group, prompting Scott to say: “Well, I guess he’s coming with us.”
Once the group started walking, the dog took the lead, almost as if he was showing them the way based on his observations of the routes that proved most popular amongst hikers.
He acted as a proper tour guide, according to Scott, even waiting patiently while the group snapped photos at various picturesque viewpoints.
It was only when they arrived at the falls that Scott’s friend checked the dog’s tags and discovered who he was.
On the front of the tag was the following inscription:
“Hi, I’m Smokey. I live nearby so please don’t take me. I like to follow hikers sometimes.”
Follow – more like take the lead!
For a little reassurance, the back of the tag read:
“Don’t worry, I’ll go home when I get tired. My people love me a lot. Thanks for being nice!”
Scott first thought that his friend was joking – but when he took a look himself, he realized it was true – and he thought it was the “coolest thing ever.”
He knew that Smokey’s story was worth sharing, so he took to the Washington Hikers and Climbers Facebook page, writing:
“Does anybody else know this dog? He met us at the old Tenerife trailhead and followed us (actually lead us) all the way to the falls. Then he sat there as we took our photos, barking at me as I dangerously crossed the snowy bank to the other side. Then he escorted us all the way down. When we went in for a look at his collar, it said this. Haha. What a cool lil buddy to join our hike this morning.
I imagine many of you know Smokey the same way I met him yea? Sometimes we make the coolest friends on the trail. 😎”
According to Brown, Smokey was well behaved, and only barked a goodbye before he headed off home.
Who else would be tempted to do a lot more hiking with a friendly dog at their side?
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