This picture was from the second day that Hiker (not named then) followed us on the Ozark Highlands Trail. We avoided feeding her the first day because we didn’t want her to follow, knowing that the exertion in her weakened condition would cause her death. We began to feed her beef jerky and an occasional tuna pack when we realized she would continue no matter what.
Hiker’s eyes tell the story of her year. When we first met, they were hazy and sunken. Now her eyes are bright and enthusiastic, taking in everything around her. She is playful and friendly with everyone we meet on the trail.
Keeping Hiker has taken a commitment in money and time but she’s added a lot to our family and outings on the trail. On lazy days, she motivates me to get out and hike.
We’re glad she chose to follow the forty-two miles she traveled to join our family.
To read more about how Hiker joined us, read Walk, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.