My life is beautiful right now. I have everything I need and manage to stay away from too many unnecessary worries and troubles. I live in the mountains surrounded by incredible support system of kind, caring, energetic, and hilarious friends. But still, for a while I’ve felt like there was one little piece missing.
And so, on September 17th, I found myself crossing the Montana border to go look at dogs. At a shelter in Dillon, on a drizzly afternoon, I made my way through a yard of fences and wagging tails trying to ascertain at first glance who would be a good companion for the next decade. In the back corner of the yard, in a kennel by himself, quietly waiting was Taggart.
It’s been a week and a half with this handsome guy, and he’s so perfectly transitioned into my life and into my heart. After a couple nervous days, I let him off the leash and we’re never looking back. While I make my way up well-trod trails he’s bounding through the underbrush, flushing grouse, treeing squirrels, and never letting me leave his sight for more than a few moments.
I named Tagg for a lake in Jackson Hole: the first hike I ever took in the Tetons as an undergraduate, and the hike that I returned to too many times to count as a graduate student. (Taggart Lake itself is named after an assistant geologist on the Hayden Expedition). Part lab, dane, and collie, and a full on explorer. For the past 10 days we’ve been exploring different trails throughout Teton Valley, and yesterday we did our first extended hike in Jackson Hole. Over 5 hours we did 10.4 miles and 2,580 feet of elevation gain (and then loss!!). Here’s us at 10,715. Hopefully there are many more summits to come for us.