HONOLULU, Hawaii (KHON) — A Hawaii couple found themselves in quite a scary situation in August when they took a wrong turn on what they thought was a short hike and, instead, got lost. It was dark. They had no water, no food and their cellphone was dead.
Their 100 pound dog, Smokey, was injured and unable to walk.
There are different hikes on the Waimano Trail above Pearl City. On Aug. 29, local residents JD and Aimee ended up seven miles deep into that trail. They had not seen anyone for hours until they ran into 12-year-old David King and his mom, Christine.
“We asked, ‘oh do you need any help?’ They said, ‘yeah,’ they showed us the dog’s paws had some cuts on it. So, it hurt when the dog would walk,” David said.
The Kings had gotten three miles from the end of their 15-mile hike to earn David a Boy Scouts Merit Badge for hiking with troops in Kailua.
JD had tried to carry Smokey on his back, but the blue pitbull was too heavy — this was when David’s training kicked in.
“We built them a stretcher using a big tree branch that we broke in half and used our shirts and slid it on using the armholes to fit the sticks through,” explained David.
It is a technique he learned from his older brother, who is an eagle scout; however, Christine was skeptical it would work.
“It was his idea to make the stretcher. We didn’t think it would work because we didn’t think the dog would get onto the stretcher. Smokey was just very happy to get on the stretcher. We just carried him out,” Christine added.
The Kings did not have cellphone service, so they all took turns carrying Smokey the three miles out to the beginning of the trail. It was not easy on David, who had just played a soccer game before going on the hike.
“It was really tough, but we rotated,” David said. “Sometimes we did four people, two on each side, two people — my mom and the man — and then the dog would get off and walk some, which was really helpful and let us relax.”
They made it out, and Smokey was able to get his injuries cared for and is now doing well. David said it is a good reminder to be prepared for hitting the trail by packing plenty of food, water and knowing the route.
“Make sure that whenever you’re doing an activity, think of what can go wrong and how you can prevent it,” David said.
His most important take-away is how good it felt to help others in need.
“I think that when you help someone out, it’s like joy in you that just like you know you did something good that day,” he stated.