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106 The Dilemma with Jake 2009-07-20

Jake in the crestones, taken by Monica

Today, you get to hear from Monty’s other half (Amy) while he is busy trying to catch up with his writing on Cloudhiking, so if the writing style seems odd, blame me!

With 44 of the 54 fourteeners (amazingly) checked off the list, we are down to some of the more technical of the bunch. Unless he suddenly develops opposable thumbs, our dog Jake, who has been a source of companionship, entertainment, and comfort for the past many weeks, will not be able to do them with us. Therefore, we are in a dilemma. Should we leave him in a boarding kennel while we finish up the last week? Or should we send him home with Ray and Monica? There is just no easy answer to this as both scenarios involve separation. Earlier in the planning, Jake would not have been an issue but with the abundance of snow that caused a necessary rearrangement of our trip schedule, there will no longer be anyone else here to take care of our boy while we are off on these climbs.

There are a number of reasons not to bring a dog along on a trip like this. The difficulty of finding dog friendly accommodations, making sure he is constantly on a leash or lead, taking care of his food and water needs along the way, slowing us down on the trail (putting on his boots, taking off his boots, helping him up and over obstacles), constantly checking paws to make sure he is not injuring himself, and more. However, the payback has far surpassed any of these difficulties as we watch his delight in playing in a snow field or curling up together at the end of the day.

Jake’s presence has been well worth the efforts involved in bringing him along. I can’t imagine what it would have been like leaving him in Nashville for so long (it is bad enough, our daughter Rose is away for the entire summer!). We will work out some arrangement that will be best for Jake and we will miss him terribly on the tail end of our fourteeners quest.
Happy trails.


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