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.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

This Is Benjamin & Bondlciff Is His Mountain; Which Mountain Will You Donate To Your Friend?

As we shoot to do the Bonds Traverse tomorrow, the first peak we’ll reach is the beautiful Bondcliff. In this first round it is dedicated to the memory of Benjamin. That’s him up above there. He was Madeleine “Maddy” Monat’s dog. This is what she wrote about him:

In memory of "Benjamin, my very first dog, and the strongest hiker I have ever known. He weighed about 33 lbs and was a Beagle/Schnauzer mix (so they thought). He is also the reason why I started hiking and camping way back when. Ben was one incredible mountaineer. Although he needed a boost now and then on the steeps, there wasn't anything he couldn't handle. He always hiked (ran) off leash and there was no holding him back. If I hiked 10 miles, he surely did 20+. On arriving at our destination, he would leap out the car window and get moving. He wore a bell because I was so worried that he would get lost. Never happened. In fact he led me out of the woods when I got lost on several occasions. He lived to almost 15 years of age and hiked 6 miles on the Lincoln Woods trail the week he died. He could no longer climb but still loved to walk. He lives forever in my heart and is sadly missed."
And that reminds me to remind you that this Winter Quest of ours may be a marathon-like effort to get 96 peaks done, but it’s also a fund-raising event for Angell Animal Medical Center. There are various ways to donate but the most popular is dedicating one of the peaks that has not been dedicated to a loved animal yet. To find out more about our fundraising check here. To find out which peaks have not been sponsored click here.

And remember, even if a peak has been hiked and it hasn’t been sponsored yet, we still need a sponsor for it. We need a sponsor for all the peaks.

In doing this, you will not only be contributing to a great cause, you will also be forming a connection between you, your pet (alive or passed on) and one of the incredible 4,000-footers of the White Mountains. It will be connection that will last forever.