Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Little Bug & I Hike Tom, Field & Willey Today

Along the way to hiking three 4,000-footers today, we ran into several parties who recognized Atticus. One woman exclaimed, “He’s remarkable!”

Isn’t it funny how we don’t always recognize the ‘remarkable’ because it’s in our life on a daily basis?I love my four legged friend and always will try my best not to take him for granted and yet today and recently I was doing just that. After that comment I looked at him anew again. This woman’s comment refreshed my view of him.

It’s easy to forget he was going blind this past spring. It’s easy to forget he tested positive for hyperthyroidism twice and I was told this was a sign of thyroid cancer and the prognosis didn’t look good. It’s easy to forget while watching him on the trails today that he was laying on his side in Dr. Grillo’s office while a specialist shaved strips of hair off his chest and belly so he could ultrasound him, looking for tumors he expected to be there.

I was told to be ready for the worst. It was all foreign territory for us.

Luckily we have friends; friends who were there to support us with love and friendship and even money to help pay his vast medical bills.

Today, I hiked the second part of our hike thinking of those dark days and contrasting them with this wonderful day we reached our 24th, 25th and 26th peaks of the winter.

I should never forget what the Little Bug has gone through and what he’s capable of. When I consider all that he is, all that he’s been through and what he helps me to do, I think I’m but one-tenth the creature he is. And aren’t we both so lucky to have this time, this winter to go on this great adventure? Aren’t we lucky to have this life to share when we were lead to believe it would be over?

The slide show from today’s hike can be found by
clicking here.