Tom and his rescue mutt, Billy, took a hike in Tiger Mountain State Forest, near Issaquah, Washington. During the hike, a ghostly encounter reveals a secret about the dog. Get the scoop after the jump.
In July 2018, Tom took his 3-year-old pooch, Billy, out for hike in Tiger Mountain State Forest. It was a clear and hot day for the Northwest, about 90°. You could see Mt. Rainier through the gaps in the evergreen canopy and the trails were mud-free.
Billy bounced along the trail. His long, thin snout chortled with each new scent it picked up. His bushy tail whipped back-and-forth as he strode through the forest. Billy was a big boy, over 100 lbs., with black highlights over a gray-and-white undercoat. When he stood up on his haunches, his nose would touch his 6’1″ human companion’s. Tom never knew what kind of mutt he was, so he’d recently sent out a DNA test to figure it out.
But today was about nature and the pair loved to hike. When the fall and winter rains came to this area near Issaquah, Washington, the trails would get thick with mud and the rocky hillsides would become a bit hazardous. Tom slipped here a year ago and broke his ankle crossing a rocky section used for mountain biking.
It was a couple of hours into their hike when the pair came across a black bear on the path. Billy planted his feet, arched his back and his fur stood on end. He dropped his head and his jowls pulled back to expose his fangs. Billy let out a deep growl that sounded more like an earthquake’s rumble than a dog’s.
The black bear didn’t seem to mind. It took a few steps forward them and stood up on its back legs. The bear began to sway with its arms at its side.
Tom pulled back hard on Billy’s leash, but the dog wouldn’t budge. “I really thought it (the bear) was going to charge us,” he said. “And Billy would get torn apart by it.”
The bear took another step forward, but stopped. It looked past Billy and Tom to something behind them.
“I thought other hikers were behind us or maybe a ranger showed up, but it wasn’t human,” Tom said.
Behind them, a fog had formed. Red circles darted through the mist and settled into three pairs. The fog bank then shifted into three shapes. Each had pointed ears, an arched back and bushy tail. The red eyes lowered and the shapes growled.
The black bear stepped back then turned to run as the foggy creatures pounced. They ran through Tom and Billy.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. “It felt like a regular fog. Cool and damp. I felt a bit of a jolt when they ran past me.”
The fog ‘pack’ chased the bear down the trail and into the woods: The mist breaking up as it went into the trees.
Tom looked at a now relaxed Billy and the duo went back to their car and left. Tom hasn’t mentioned his experience until now.
A week later, Billy’s DNA results came back. It turns out Billy is ten percent wolf. “I heard wolves won’t leave a pack mate alone when there’s a threat,” Tom said. “Maybe that’s what happened along the trail?”