Chihuahua On the Trail
Last-Minute Change of Plans
I have a chihuahua named Chip who is by my side every moment of every day. He goes to work with me, restaurants, bars, doctor’s appointments, movie theaters, on airplanes, road trips, and even a thru-hike. Last fall I took him on the 274-mile Long Trail in Vermont. He loves hiking and camping and he scaled the rocks of Mount Mansfield better than I did.
But the PCT is different. Five months is a long time to be on the road, in the wilderness, new places, new faces, away from home. I knew if I brought him it would no longer be my hike, it would be his. I would have to carry all his food, water, and gear since he’s too small to carry anything. I would also have to carry him any time he didn’t want to hike for any reason, including if that means carrying him for all 2,650 miles. He’s small, 7lbs 10oz. But that’s 3.5 liters of water. Ask any thru-hiker, that’s a lot.
In the end…
I thought it would be best if he stayed with my parents. I knew he would be OK without me for 5 months, but I wasn’t sure if I could be without him. Then, at 10 pm the night before my flight, six hours before I had to be out the door, I had a complete panic attack. I don’t mean hyperbole the most way people say panic attack. I mean a medical panic attack. The next thing I knew I was on the bus to the airport while on the phone with the airline booking Chip on my flight.
I very much hope that in writing this post I will not receive a negative response. I am not here asking for advice or opinions. This is my blog and I am letting you know what is going on in my life and on the trail. Chip is on the trail. He has already brought so much joy and happiness to hikers missing their dogs. He is also doing very well and he will stay on the trail as long as he continues to do well. Once again this is his hike. His health and happiness are of the utmost importance. The moment he isn’t thriving, we’ll get off the trail. There is no other option. But as long as he’s doing as well as he is now, he’ll continue on with me. I hope to see you out there! Oh, and if you see him, his trail name is Dirt Devil.
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