When Kyle Rohrig’s beloved Katana, an eight-year-old adventure-loving Shiba Inu, became reticent because of her blindness, the fur parent knew he had to do something to help the canine get back her love for the outdoors.
Adventure-Loving Shiba Inu
Katana loved going on adventures with Kyle. Together, they trekked all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail that ranges from Georgia to Maine in 2014. In 2016, they embarked on a journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, which spans 2,650 miles.
Kyle and Katana were in the middle of that hike when glaucoma set in, affecting the Shiba Inu’s left eye. They immediately left the Pacific Crest Trail to get treatment for Katana, but the pair finished their adventure once the veterinarian gave them the green light.
Image credit: _roamad_ on Instagram
However, glaucoma soon claimed the vision on Katana’s right eye as well, making her completely blind. Along with this new condition came a change in the canine’s personality.
Katana Gains New Confidence
Kyle’s heart broke to see the adventurous dog who could hike thousands of miles become an unsure, hesitant pooch. Her once fluid movements became shaky and tentative.
Katana couldn’t even jump on the couch or walk in and out of the house without first getting tons of encouragement from Kyle. He knew that given the Shiba Inu’s recent vision loss, this behavior was reasonable. At the same time, though, it was painful to watch.
In time, Katana would eventually learn to navigate her home, but Kyle didn’t want her to be confined in one safe space for life. Hence, he decided that the two of them should go out of their comfort zones by hiking on the Florida Trail.
According to Kyle, going on that journey was a calculated risk. Katana needed to be able to successfully cope with the unknown without shrinking in fear and uncertainty, while the fur dad had to re-learn how to communicate with his dog.
And thus, for 72 days, Kyle and Katana explored the 1,100-mile trail, their bond growing ever closer. It warmed the heart to see the Shiba Inu bloom into a confident canine once more.
That hike changed Katana’s life for the better and helped her accept her blindness. She was no longer afraid of making a mistake; instead of stopping cold when she bumped into something, the Shiba Inu now shrugs it off and continues whatever she was doing.
I got my dog back, Kyle happily remarks. Watch him and Katana on the Florida Trail here:
Source: The Dodo on YouTube
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