“Beloved Senior Pooch’s Six-Year Ritual: Bringing the Same Toy Along for Every Adventure!”.3mthanh


If you ever cross paths with Hana and her beloved golden retriever, Gumbo, during a hike (or really anywhere), you’re likely to be introduced to Shrimp, Gumbo’s plush toy doppelgänger.

Hana happily shared, “He absolutely adores taking his best friend and favorite toy, Shrimp, everywhere with him. Gumbo just can’t resist showing Shrimp off to everyone he meets.”

Dog hikes with his favorite stuffed toy

The inseparable bond between Gumbo and Shrimp began back in 2017 when Hana bought Shrimp from IKEA. Interestingly, Shrimp wasn’t initially purchased with Gumbo in mind, but soon after Shrimp entered their home, he quickly became Gumbo’s closest companion.

Dog hikes with his stuffed toy

While in high school, Hana occasionally embarked on hiking adventures with friends, but it was Gumbo who sparked her passion for hiking on a regular basis.

Hana explained, “When we moved to the Pacific Northwest and made friends with other dog enthusiasts, we got more into hiking. So, you could say we discovered our love for hiking together.”

Much like Gumbo is Hana’s steadfast companion on these hikes, Shrimp plays the role of Gumbo’s biggest supporter.

Hana revealed, “We bring Shrimp along on practically every hike. Usually, he lounges in my backpack while Gumbo and I hit the trail because Gumbo prefers not to carry Shrimp when he’s busy enjoying the hike and panting.”Hana added, “Gumbo usually stays pretty close to me. If we’re hiking off-leash where it’s allowed, he might get the ‘zoomies’ and dash up and down the trail.”

She continued, “However, now that he’s 8.5 years old, he’s slowed down quite a bit and tends to stay right by my side during our hikes.”Gumbo loves to commemorate his hiking achievements with his trusted buddy Shrimp.”Typically, at the end of a hike, Gumbo’s favorite thing to do is to proudly display Shrimp to everyone else at the trail’s conclusion,” Hana shared. “He’ll proudly show him off to my hiking companions or even strangers who want to come and say hello.”

Hana remarked, “I truly believe he knows that Shrimp is a ‘special toy.’ Usually, if we have Shrimp with us, Gumbo understands that we’re embarking on an adventure.”There was one memorable occasion when Hana and Gumbo accidentally left Shrimp behind on a hiking trail. They had driven about an hour and a half away from the trailhead when it suddenly dawned on Hana that someone important was missing.

“We turned around, and I checked, and there was Shrimp, perched perfectly on the trailhead sign,” Hana recalled with relief. For fellow pet parents interested in introducing their dogs to hiking, Hana offers some valuable advice. She recommends researching pet-friendly trails in your vicinity and ensuring that you’re aware of local leash laws. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of carrying a first aid kit in your backpack – for both yourself and your furry companion.

And if your dog has a special attachment to their toys, take a cue from Gumbo and Shrimp’s adventures and consider including a travel buddy in your hiking plans.




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