We went hiking the Kananaskis Lake Trail. Once we noticed the sun was starting to go down behind the mountains, we kept a closer eye on the time since I knew sunset was at 7:10pm MST. We quickened our pace because I think we both knew it was getting darker faster than it should have been at that time, but we didn't think we were in any danger quite yet. We couldn't see a path at all because it wasn't marked. We were relying on our dog, Lily, to sniff out the path and lead us to the rest of the trail. Without her we probably would have gotten lost. Since humans become utterly useless in the dark we were relying on Lily to let us know if she saw or smelled any danger. We finally made it out of the forest and made it a road. I don't know how far we went before we heard something in the bushes next us, something BIG. It stopped us in our tracks. We heard a lot of big sticks breaking as it moved. Lily immediately laid down, her signal that she sees something. We heard it stop and then start coming towards us. We couldn't see what it was so we just turned around and walked back. Our plan was ruined and it was still getting dark, we could barely see the road. Our only choice was to go back and develop a new plan. We then noticed the pay phone! We put in the coins and dialled our friend’s number to tell them the pickle we were in. The operator answered and told us "You need $2.50 to complete this call"... We didn't have an extra $2 in change that the payphone would accept. We begged them to let us make this call. I started freaking out at the operator while I was crying; telling him that it was pitch black and that this area is bad for bear attacks. The line went dead. After a moment it started ringing and then our friend picked up. We had never felt so relieved to hear their voice! Once again I started crying. We were still out in the open and we felt very vulnerable especially knowing there was something in the bushes not far from where we were. Once our friends had an idea of where we were, we headed to our only choice of shelter: a 3'x6' bathroom. We hunkered down for about two hours until we were rescued.
She was the reason we made it out of the mountains. It was pitch black and there was no marked path. We just let her pull us around hoping she could smell the way. As we were walking through the darkness I could just barely see her ears but I kept my eyes on them because if I heard something in the bushes, but she didn’t react, I knew it was nothing. She provided the comfort I needed to feel a bit safer and so I didn’t have a panic attack. I credit her with saving not just my life or my boyfriends; she saved my sons life too since literally the morning we did this hike we found out we were pregnant. We love her to bits!