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And Some Dogs Go Hiking On Their Own....

Regarding hiking with dogs... Aside from the good advice given by
Jim Owen - namely to read Uncle Wolf's tips, available online
through Ryan's ftp site - I would also suggest that you contact the
ATC and ask that you be sent a copy of the article entitled "Hiking
with Fido" which was written by a vet and appeared in the AT News
a few years ago. Appalachian Trail Conference address:

A couple of weeks ago I was over in Harpers Ferry and Jean Cashin
related the following....which I decided to write down - and since
the dog topic just came up here today - thought I would post it to the

--Kathy Bilton

The Dog Who Decided to Go Hiking by Himself

Jean pointed to a Polaroid that she had taped to the wall behind
her desk.  Most Polaroids seen around the ATC HQ are of thru-
hikers, who've reached the half-way point on a thru-hike.   Unlike
these pictures, this one was of a white German Shepherd. The
picture was labeled, "Cody" and dated March 7.

Fairly late on the afternoon of that day, a couple of fellows had
walked through the front door, and said they had something that
needed taking care of.  Outside was a dog which they had tied to a
tree.  Not their dog though. Some days earlier, while they were
hiking on the AT in the Front Royal, VA, vicinity, the dog had
started following them.  They tried discouraging it without
success.  At the first opportunity, they called a phone number
which they found on the fellow's collar.  They had trouble getting
connected to the number, and after several attempts gave up and
decided to just let the dog stay with them, figuring they'd have
better luck with phoning when they got to Harpers Ferry.

A problem arose when they discovered that in the intervening time,
the collar had disappeared.  Luckily, however, one of the hikers
remembered that one of the tags was from the Warren County SPCA,
and even remembered the number that had been assigned to this
particular dog.  Jean called the SPCA and was quickly provided with 
the name of the owner.

She immediately placed a call to the owner who fortuitously was
home.  Thrilled to hear that his dog had been found, he said he'd
be in Harpers Ferry within a couple of hours.  It turned out that
he was a member of ATC and often took his dog out on the AT which
ran not too far from his house. This time, however, it appears that
Cody just decided to go hiking without the company of his master. 

Jean invited the hikers to bring the dog inside.  He immediately
went over to the low window behind Jean's desk.  She cleared off
all the objects that were there on the ledge in front of the
window, and Cody immediately made himself home there.

A couple of other hikers came into the building.  They were with
the dog as well.  These two appeared a bit younger than the first
two.  Jean asked them whether they were part of a school group. 
Their reply was that they were in the military.  She persisted with
a question about what branch of the military they were in, and it
turned out that they were midshipmen at the Naval Academy in

Kay, who works in publications, went out to the store and got the
dog some food.  But Cody was not interested in eating or in doing
anything other than lying in the windowsill.  

Around 5:30 the owner appeared.  Not surprisingly Cody was quite
excited.  After he settled down, he went over and ate the food that
Kay had gotten for him.  

The owner brought with him a copy of his local newspaper in which
he had placed a missing dog ad, picture, reward offer and all, to
show Jean. He promised to send in a contribution to the ATC in
thanks for the safe return of his dog.  (Jean also gave him the
names of the midshipmen who had escorted the canine hiker to
Harpers Ferry.)

Written down: March 20, 1996