Dog is man’s best friend.
He sat there looking at the fluffy white clouds just beyond his reach. Is he contemplating the beauty of the clouds? Or the beautiful colors of the sky? Or maybe he is quantifying the height of his perch?
No one would know, not even his human owner.
To Joshua Chua, Meejo is a companion, his warmth during the cold nights in the Cordillera mountains and a friend.
He reminds us of our first dog when we were young. The ones which we grew up with. The one that gives us unconditional love, friendship and companionship now. The one which we saw in the movies with inspiring stories of loyalty and friendship that we cried buckets of tears.
Completing the 9 day trip, Joshua and Meejo have now covered some of the known and unknown travel or climb destinations in the Cordillera. This includes Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao.
It is known that the Cordillera is a haven for mountain climbers, where there lies a lot of peaks not yet reached by hikers. It is a haven made of steep cliffs, beautiful ridges, the smell of pine, of fog and cold weather.
According to Joshua, Meejo is a Male Alaskan Malamute and sadly though, he won’t be able to breed as he was already neutered.
Meejo is a Mal, a breed of dog that is known of their strength and endurance of the Alaskan landscape. In a distant past, they have carried weights more than their own but they don’t have to now. Yet , in their blood runs the blood of their ancestors.
Climbing with a dog required Joshua to go through the process of asking permission at LGU’s, tourism offices and ranger stations that a dog would be hiking and camping with him.
“I brought with me his rain coat and swamp cooler but it never rained and the weather was always cold so the heat was never a concern” he shared while in transit to Batad, Banaue, Ifugao. This trip to one of the preserved rice terraces in the country would mark their last stop on their Cordillera tour.
A swamp cooler is a product of ruffwear to protect dogs against the heat of the sun.
Meejo seem to enjoy the hikes and the new friends he made as he run around with them on a swamp near a community they have stopped by.
Thought that only humans would do trainings before climbs? Meejo also did some exercises and even had a minor climb at Mt. Ulap prior the Cordillera trip.
“We hiked Mt. Batulao last year with my other dog who also toured mountain province for 5 days”
If pooping is a common concern for some hikers, Meejo also practices LNT or his owner does.
“I pick up after him and we bring it down together with the trash”
If Meejo and Joshua can do that, why can’t others do that too?
Asked what traits Joshua admires of Meejo, “He has a lot of drive. I think if a dog doesn’t have that, then they will not finish the hike”
Same goes to humans.
According to Joshua, Meejo never showed any signs of backing out from a hike. “I was following Meejo’s pace the whole time and were always 30 min ahead of the group”
It runs in the blood indeed.
Below are some of the photos Joshua Chua shared to us. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Meejo?