Dogs enjoy the comfort of staying indoors, but particularly love exploring the outdoors. For seasoned hikers Kyle Rohrig and his loyal hiking companion, Katana (an 8-year old Shiba Inu), this was their idea of the perfect bonding activity. The duo has succeeded climbing the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, known to have one of the most challenging trails. However in an unforgettable turn of events, as they were climbing up the Pacific Crest Trail, Katana’s vision started to fail that they had to turn back to get her the medical attention she needed.
Kyle could not imagine climbing the mountains once again without his favorite partner with him, so months after Katana’s surgery, the duo is once again set for another adventure. Feeling the despair of losing her sight, Kyle completely understood that this might be the thing that Katana needs to give her a confidence boost. She can easily navigate the house by memory, but unfamiliar places make her uneasy.
Kyle and Katana have their goal set into conquering the 1,100-mile Florida Trail. Parts of the trail are through swamps, while other areas are along busy roads. Kyle knew that Katana’s blindness is just another hurdle for them to overcome, but the experience will be good for her overall.
On January 8 they started their journey; they waded through water, muds and waist-deep swamps, crossed the river using wooden planks, evaded snakes and alligators. They progressed mile by mile drawing strength from each other, savoring the fresh air, and loving the freedom of having to explore new places once again.
Kyle took to Instagram to share every milestone and challenge of their journey. It was by far their most memorable hike together, and after 72 grueling days their perseverance and struggle they’ve reached its completion.
It was a life-changing experience, and Kyle could not help but be emotional about how Katana did so well throughout the journey. She may have lost her sight, but certainly not her soul.