When Cullen came to us he was nothing more than 4lbs of bones and fur, not that he wasn’t cared for, but being the runt of the litter didn’t give him the chance to thrive at his start. For that reason alone I never envisioned him being capable of hiking all 48 4,000ft. mountains in NH. However, we currently only have two hikes left until Cullen is officially the smallest dog ever to have accomplished such an overwhelming task, and we’ll get nominated into the elite AMC 4,000 footer club.
There was a point in my time when I lost the true meaning of this life. Not that I was depressed, my support system was top notch, but I was eager. I knew that there was more to life than the average day-to-day lifestyle most of us fall into; waking up, working, dinner, and bedtime. As I continued to spend more time with Cullen he and I would go for hikes that led me to unspeakable beauty, excitement, and enchantment. As we both continued to grow I realized our hikes turned into journeys, I was starting to live a life I was content with.
I was no longer bound to a schedule that choked my happiness, and I was breathing deeper than I ever had. The mountain air filled my core with purity and gratification. After Cullen and I had hiked our first 4,000 footer, which at the time was truly challenging, we were hooked. So, Saturday January 7, 2012 we took on the challenge to stand atop all 48, and as of Thursday May 30, 2013 we have stood on the summit of all but four of them, leaving us with two hikes to go. The experiences we have shared in those mountains are beyond the words I could write, and no right adjective, sentence, blog, or book will ever be able to justify or grasp what we have been through together. All I can do is write down the truth and hope that gives enough insight on how special our time spent together is.
We are all capable of overcoming such empowering and testing challenges. We all have the control to make whatever change we want, and make whatever dreams reality. What’s required is the courage to accept the change that comes along with the journey. I know now that I am much changed from the person I was before these mountain tops. I am able and comfortable to live my life the way I want to remember, and not be blindsided by society’s distractions.
This would not have been possible without the courageousness of a particular Min Pin. His love for the outdoors has led me to peace and understanding. We are all meant to live a life of adventure and exploration, just having the bravery to reach out and grab this thrill is the hard part, due to the stagnant lifestyle so many have come accustomed to living.
We will soon be finishing with the 48; this is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. What is next for us? I only hope that we are able to embark on another journey together, where I am able to grow and learn from the time spent with Cullen. To trail him as we travel through another challenge many would think too great for him.
There is much more to this life than just living. We are not doing ourselves and this world any good unless we find a friend of great value and make memories that brighten the darkest of days. Trust in friendship and be certain that the bond made will withstand even the harshest of hits. Go live the life you dream of with the ones that mean the most, for that is a life well lived…
A life worth remembering.