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This Story of a Boy Scout Saving an Injured Pup on a Hiking Trail Will Make Your Day

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When Aimee and JD Henson got lost on a trail with their 100-pound pup, Smokey, his front paws grew so raw and ragged from walking, he couldn’t take another step … until a genius boy scout saved the day!

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boy scout David King with dog Smokey and owner Aimee Henson
Boy Scout David King with dog Smokey and owner Aimee HensonAimee Henson

How the Boy Scout Came to the Rescue

“Be able to fly,” Chris King proclaimed when her 12-year-old son, David, asked, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” David and his mom were completing a 15-mile hike on Hawaii’s Waimano Trail. A Boy Scout, David was working on his hiking merit badge.

As they navigated the rocky downhill trail, the two played 20 Questions.

“I’d love to be able to transport anywhere in a blink,” David announced. As things turned out, that superpower would have come in handy because just ahead…

Running Into Each Other

The afternoon was so beautiful, Aimee and JD Henson had decided to take a short hike with their Pit Bull, Smokey.

Unfortunately, trail markings were confusing and, “I think we’re lost,” JD admitted as the dog-friendly trail they’d set out on turned extremely rocky.

Before long, Smokey was limping. Aimee checked his paws and found his front pads were shredded. She wrapped them in strips from JD’s shirt, but it didn’t help. The 100-pound pup sat down and refused to move.

“No service,” JD sighed when he tried calling for help.

Just then David and his mom approached.

JD explained their predicament and asked, when they got a signal, if Chris could call rangers for them.

But David had a better idea. At scout camp, he had learned how to build a stretcher using two poles and a blanket. “We could use tree limbs for poles and our shirts to make a blanket. The four of us could carry Smokey,” David offered.

(1) Aimee bends down to try to coax Smokey onto the stretcher (2) Smokey rests on the stretcher
Left: Aimee bends down to try to coax Smokey onto the stretcher. Right: Smokey rests on the stretcher.Aimee Henson

After constructing their makeshift stretcher, it took some coaxing, but finally Smokey got on and lay down. “I told you it would work,” David celebrated, as the group hoisted Smokey up and began to descend the trail.

A Tough Journey Back

It took two hours — and some tricky navigating under very narrow old aqueducts — for the group to go the three miles back to the parking area. As JD settled his pup into the back seat of their car, Smokey gave David a look that seemed to say, “Thanks.”

After showering David and Chris with their own heartfelt thanks, Aimee and JD brought Smokey to the vet, who prescribed antibiotic cream for his paws, and after a few days of R&R, he was up and about.

Knowing he helped Smokey with his boy scout skills fills David with joy and pride.

“It feels really good to help someone,” he says. “Almost as good as having a real superpower.”

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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