Gus Gets A Surprise

I’ve been discussing our upcoming attempted thru hike of the Appalachian Trail with my best buddy, Gus, the 7 year old, semi-trained, Labradoodle who recently informed me he thought the idea was absolutely “nutso”.  (His words…).  As we talked more about it and I explained the reasons I needed this adventure and we’d have a lot of fun together, he seemed to be coming around.  Then I got to the part where we’d be separated on the trail a couple of times.


He thought taking a break while I handle the Great Smokies would be cool.

     “You mean I can kick back and relax for a few days while you hike up and down and up and down and up and down the mountains?  Then get chauffeured to meet up with you?  Far Out!  Sounds great to me!  Just better be a luxury kennel, Bucko”.  (Did my dog just give me my trail name?)  “If the collar fits…”


Then I told him about Baxter and the final climb to Katahdin and he wouldn’t be allowed in the park.  He looked at me with a jaundiced eye; his head tilted to the side.

     “Wait just a minute, my best buddy.  You’ve convinced me to take a crack at this ridiculous scheme of yours.  I know you want to try this Jeremiah Johnson thing and I’m willing to give it a shot.  But now you’re telling me after hiking a couple of thousand miles at your side, through rain and thunderstorms, cold, wet, dirty, you’re going to hand me off to your brother just before we get to the finish line?  He’s a great guy and all, but come on, Bucko!  You’re going to climb that last mountain, hit the finish line, get your picture taken at the top of Katahdin without me?”

“With all due respect, you putz – that just flat out sucks!  Yeah, yeah, Baxter doesn’t allow dogs ’cause they’ll disturb the wild life.  Nuts!  My ancestors were there way before you guys!  How about a special permit for dogs like me who’ve hiked the whole freakin’ distance?  Really tough sections?  You figure it out.  Near vertical sections?  Put me in a sling and haul my ass up.  I know you’d do whatever it takes to get me up there so we could have our picture taken together at that freakin’ sign.  

“Who do I talk to?  Tell me.  Give me a name.  And if they don’t listen to reason…I’ll pee on their leg.”

Gus, My Best Buddy…I couldn’t agree more.


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Comments 3

  • joanne alvarez : Jan 13th

    Your best buddy knows best – go sobo then you can finish together! Standing Bear Hostel which is just south of the Smoky Mountains on the AT is a great place to board Gus. Looking forward to reading about your adventure!

  • Amelia : Jan 13th

    This was hilarious!


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