A Washington state hiker went missing Thursday and might have stayed that way if not for his loyal dog, CNN reports. The Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. says it went looking for a 64-year-old man after his wife reported him missing from their Eatonville-area home. "The missing man reportedly often went hiking with his dog, but did not leave a note where he was going and had failed to return home after dark," says the department. "The man's wife reported finding recent internet searches by her husband for geocaching in the Evans Creek area." And phone records showed he had recently used his phone near Alder Lake, per the Tacoma News Tribune.
Searchers scoured both areas but found only a stolen truck dumped by the road. Then at 4:45pm they stumbled on the man's vehicle with a list of geocache locations left inside. Searchers checked those areas, and heard barking, so a deputy trudged through woods and heavy brush to a steep embankment where the dog was barking beside her owner. He had died from heart disease, a coroner later said. "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," per the department. "Without the barking of his loyal companion Daisy, we never would have located the missing man." (Read more hikers stories.)