“I used to be a prisoner in my very own thoughts till the day I met Teodor,” says Inga Ecker.

Twelve years in the past, the 32-year-old from Carinthia in Austria picked up a tiny chihuahua at Vienna prepare station. Little did she know he was about to vary her life.

“Earlier than him, I all the time needed to go someplace however by no means actually dared to. I all the time was ready for my friends to go travelling and no person actually joined,” she tells Euronews Journey.

“After which with him it was really easy – we simply went collectively. He modified my life, actually.”

Since then, Inga – who works in IT for a German automotive firm – has been to greater than 80 nations and bagged 6,000-metre peaks.

“And it began with him,” says Inga.

Sadly, Inga misplaced Teodor simply weeks earlier than this interview befell – however she needed to share her recollections of her transformative travels along with her pet.

How did you begin climbing together with your canine?

“We did our first hike when he was tremendous tiny,” remembers Inga. “I simply felt a lot extra assured then, than this very small, scared chihuahua – I wanted to guard him. I used to be but to study that he really can be the one to guard me.”

Teodor didn’t keep timid for lengthy. After nervously eyeing a river on their first trek, “he jumped from one aspect to the opposite and he simply appeared to get pleasure from it a lot,” says Inga. That’s the place their love of hiking started.

“I used to be not into mountains [before], however going with him was really easy. It was a lot enjoyable,” she remembers.

Inga and Teodor started to take longer and extra technical hikes. “We turned actually sturdy hikers collectively… Typically we might begin in the course of the evening, we might attain the summit at dawn after which we’d simply sit there and watch the dawn collectively.”

The duo went from energy to energy.

“Even till he obtained actually previous, he was all the time a robust hiker – even on the age of 11. Simply final yr, we did hikes of 1,000-metre elevation in a single single push – it was not a giant deal for him.”

Though the distant mountains on the Austrian, Italian and Slovenian borders turned their go-to, the pair explored far past their Carinthian homeland – and even obtained Inga’s household into climbing.

What had been your most memorable journeys together with your pet?

“One very lovely journey was once we drove to the Dolomites and cycled the three well-known peaks in a day,” says Inga. “Teodor was on this bag on prime of the bike, barking – he may go on for hours and hours like that, it was simply enjoyable for him.”

She additionally remembers the liberating feeling of their first worldwide journey when COVID lockdowns had been lifted in spring 2021.

“We drove to Italy and stayed in a gorgeous medieval fortress near Tuscany… It wasn’t a lot of an journey, however I simply keep in mind feeling comfy that we had been capable of journey once more… I felt so free and I may inform he did too.”

The sort of journey was proper up Teodor’s road. “He simply beloved fancy hotels, fancy eating places. We all the time ordered some additional plates for him so he may be part of us for dinner,” Inga smiles.

How did folks react to a mountain-hiking chihuahua?

Inga admits that she, like many individuals, had preconceptions about chihuahuas.

“I had this stereotype that you could’t do something with this dog aside from strolling across the metropolis or a park.” However Teodor proved her – and everybody else – mistaken.

Reactions to their mountain-climbing ranged from amusement to disbelief to respect.

“A lot of folks had been smiling at him, saying ‘He’d be higher off in a purse or in a cafe’ and so forth,” laughs Inga. “Some folks would come up and ask ‘Did you’re taking the gondola up right here?’ And I’d say, ‘No, we hiked up right here!’ And so they had been shocked – they could not imagine how he made it.”

As soon as the locals obtained to know him, their attitudes modified.

“Everybody type of obtained to know him – Teodor, the sturdy hiker. And even his biggest critics, they become followers as a result of everyone noticed how sturdy he was.”

What are your suggestions for travelling together with your pet?

“My most important tip is tremendous easy: simply get pleasure from each single second together with your pet, soak up all their shared and fantastic experiences and by no means take a single day with no consideration,” says Inga.

Having simply misplaced Teodor, she has touching recommendation for pet owners.

“Once they’re previous, do not go away them behind. Carry them if it’s important to. They walked each path with you they usually have been there while you wanted them,” she says. “So when it will get troublesome for them to stroll, it is your flip to hold them, to be their information – simply as a return for all these lovely recollections and years you had collectively.”

For Teodor, climbing gave him energy, whilst he suffered from a liver situation for 4 years.

“We consulted our vet about his situation and even she couldn’t imagine he was nonetheless capable of be so sturdy,” says Inga. “She really thought it was due to all of the hikes we did.”

Whereas climbing isn’t proper for each canine, spending a lot of time outdoor being energetic can extend your pet’s life and well being. As Inga’s vet suggested, when you can see your pet feels comfy, there’s nothing holding you again.

By studying your canine’s physique language, Inga says you possibly can faucet into their emotions. As a buddy lately instructed her, “Dogs are like troopers. They will not let you already know that they’re in ache for so long as potential.” For that reason, she advises, “Do not push them or drive them to do issues they do not get pleasure from.”

As for mountain-hiking, Inga says it’s best to prepare your dog in the same manner as you’d prepare your self. Once you set off, deliver sufficient water, loads of meals, and heat waterproof clothing – for each you and your pet.

Begin small, and construct up your energy collectively.

And hopefully, you’ll discover you could have a buddy like Teodor: “He was such a superb canine… He was a badass.”


Source link