Authorities are crediting a missing man’s loyal dog that wouldn’t leave its owner’s side after the man fell and died while out for a hike, with the pooch eventually alerting authorities to their location with its constant barking.
Authorities with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Washington were called after a woman reported her car, 64-year-old husband and family dog named Daisy were missing from their home on Thursday.
The man had often gone on hikes with his dog, but failed to leave a note of where he was going and did not return home by nightfall. According to authorities, the man’s wife had found recent internet searches by her husband about geocaching in the area of Evans Creek. Geocaching is essentially a game of hide-and-seek, where people hide “caches” outdoors for others to locate, usually through clues from other caches and/or GPS coordinates.
At first light, a search-and-rescue team was dispatched to the area but were unable to locate the man or his vehicle. That’s when authorities decided to ping the man’s cellphone, which was last used in a different area.
A helicopter and a mountain rescue team were dispatched and the man’s vehicle was eventually spotted. Authorities found a list of geocache locations in the vehicle. Authorities then mapped the locations and sent teams out in search of the missing pair.
About an hour into the search of the geocache locations, a deputy heard the sound of a barking dog. The rescuer started to hike in the direction of the sound and eventually spotted a dog matching Daisy’s description up a steep embankment, the sheriff’s office said.
“Our deputy hiked another 30 minutes through the thick woods and brush up to the dog’s location, where he located the missing man,” the sheriff’s office said in statement. “The victim was deceased from what appears to be injuries sustained during a fall.”
Authorities said if it wasn’t for the dog, the rescue team may not have been able to locate the man.
“This was a very sad end to a tough search, but we are incredibly proud of our deputies and the volunteers’ efforts to find the missing man and return him to his family,” the sheriff’s office said. “Without the barking of his loyal companion Daisy, we never would have located the missing man. It was amazing.”