The Thru-Hikers’ Dog and JOMO

FOMO – Fear of missing out. What we thought our dog would be feeling if we didn’t bring her on our thru-hike.

JOMO – Joy of missing out. What actually happened.

So I’m hiking the AT with my wife, but we have another family member we decided we had to leave behind—our six-year-old dog, India.

India almost convincing us she could hang as a hiker. Before we took off on our thru-hike.

I’m sure many couples out there are considering the trail but can’t stand the idea of leaving the dog behind. Well I’m here to tell you—it can be great! I have a childhood friend who volunteered to take India for the duration, and he has his own very active dog, Brooke. He also has an amazing girlfriend who dog-sits on Rover and loves to get the dogs out every day. Yes. Jackpot.

We set up a WhatsApp channel to share back and forth about the dog when we left and, since then, it’s turned into basically a weekly Tumblr of dog photos coming at us on the trail. Let’s be honest, the shots are almost all done by Chelsea, my friend’s girlfriend. Gotta give credit where credit is due!

I think the shots below speak for themselves, though. India is living high on the hog and loving her new life and friend(s)! JOMO every day.

Without further ado, here’s what it’s like to be the dog left behind.

Fair to say she’s not missing us too much! So, in summary, here’s how you pull the trigger and get out on the trail guilt-free even when you have a pet to leave behind:

1) Find a friend with a dog.

2) Ask said friend to watch your dog.

3) Set up WhatsApp channel.

4) Hit the trail and let the photos role in!

Thanks Chelsea for being such an amazing substitute mom for our dog!


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Comments 3

  • John : Aug 20th

    The title doesn’t sound too good. Just FYI.

    • Rob Jr. : Aug 20th


  • Mitch Stockdale : Aug 22nd

    Dogs don’t have a place on every trip, but sometimes a little thinking outside the norm will open up a wonderful world. My dog ( Peat an 11 year old Dalmatian) joined me moving from a house in Tennessee to a sailboat in Malta. I never considered doing it without him.


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