Early in my SAR career I was at a trailhead in King County readying Sierra for a hike. We weren’t searching. The hike was conditioning for me, and getting Sierra used to the normal sights and smells of the woods.

As I was getting her out of the truck and getting my own gear ready, two women across the parking lot kept looking at me.File Feb 12, 6 56 35 PM

Of course, I was the manly SAR expert, with the special pack for me and collar for the dog. Finally, they approached. Were they going to ask me about trail conditions? Some critical piece of information for enjoying their hike or staying safe?

“Sir, we just wanted to let you know you have a dryer sheet stuck to the back of your shirt.”

I never missed a beat. “That’s right ladies, I do. The wilderness is unforgiving, and you never know when a dryer sheet will save your life.”

Not even Sierra bought that, much less the ladies. But we all had a good laugh. If there’s anything better than a hike in the woods with your dog, it’s hiking with your dog while laughing.

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