Katana, an 8-year-old Shiba Inu, hasn’t always been blind. In fact, she and her owner Kyle Rohrig loved braving the wilderness together. Both of them are experienced hikers and they even finished the Appalachian trail together that spans 2,200 miles.
When Katana started to lose her sight, they were in the middle of traversing the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail hike. The poor dog was in a fight against glaucoma which made them opt out from finishing the trail. The disease clouded her left eye and she needed to go through surgery.
They were able to get back to the trail and finish it as soon as the vet cleared her. However, two years later, Katana lost her vision on her right eye as well. That forced them to leave the wilderness for a long time. Katana became timid, cautious, and unsure of herself and her confidence slowly disappeared.
Rohrig refused to accept that they had the last of their adventures together. Katana was able to adjust inside their home. She had the layout memorized and was able to navigate all right. She could have lived the rest of her life indoor and wrapped in darkness but Rohrig had a different idea.
He wanted to bring back his dog’s confidence and self-assurance so he decided to set out on another hike with his blind dog. There was no doubt in his mind that the journey will be difficult. But in that sink or swim situation, he made up his mind that there is no other way for them but to swim.
They followed the Florida trail starting from the Trailhead in Big Cypress. He shared that the hike was challenging and liberating at the same time. He needed to carry her most of the time but there were times that Katana was able to lead the way and hike a mile or two on her own every day.
They went and finished their hike after 72 days and the change in Katana’s demeanor was beautiful. The fearful dog who was once Katana was replaced by a strong and confident companion along the way. Katana was surely happy and thankful that her owner did not let her stay in the dark forever.
Credits to _roamad_ on Instagram