That day, in the early morning hours, I was going to climb Golica. Sown-filled roads are the best there is and I really like them, because there are no crowds anywhere. Planina beneath Gorica showed me all of its beauty in the early morning that day, lying in a misty fog before me. And although it was foggy, when I parked the car and stepped outside, I could see a giant German shepherd running right towards me. The dog was heading full speed right towards me! I thought I was done for. But that wasn’t the case. She came to me; friendly sniffed me one or two times and looked right at me, judgingly glared right into me, piercingly looked in my eyes if I was a worthy person to follow her. Well, right after her visit to the bathroom, I knew that she was a female. And if she really wanted to walk with me on the path I was going to undertake, it was best to get to know each other more before embarking on our long journey together. So, for the time being, I called her Arnika.



Hello there, I am Matej. And you are Arnika?



I knew that I wouldn’t be able to see any wild herd of rabbits, deer or any kind of wildlife critters with her by my side. Arnika explored her surroundings with an eager noisy stroll and chased away even the most experienced wildlife around her. The path to the top of Golica can be accessed through 2 paths, the normal path or the winter, snow-covered path. I decided to go with the latter, so I could witness the feel of winter for myself. Arnika was walking the whole time in front of me and showed me the way, just like a true experienced mountain guide. And then we came to a complication. We encountered a serious block in the way, which doesn’t really bother a mountain hiker with 2 feet really – a few staples and wired rope and you can climb right over the rock. But for Arnika it was too much; she tried to find her own way around the hurdle, but failed because of the steep slope all around, so we couldn’t walk the path together anymore. So I waved her goodbye and in a few minutes I came to the cabin right beneath Golica.



Dog paws were not made for staples.



The path to the very top was short, since I was constantly thinking about Arnika and the famous storybook of Kali, written by Ivan Ribič, which I read in my childhood. The mist cleared on the top, but it wasn’t warm since it was very windy, so I pretty soon left again.



Now, this is a perfectly cooled beverage!



At the cabin I was still thinking about what route to take back, but in the end I decided to take the wintery path again, so I packed my things and went back down. And a smile suddenly appeared on my face when I saw, a few meters away from our parting place, my little puppy, which lied in the snow and waited for me to come back, patiently waiting for more than an hour. The joy of meeting her again was enormous. She jumped around, wagging her tail and rolled on the ground around me and that was proof enough, that Arnika really missed me. Sadly, I didn’t even have a treat with me to give to her, to repay her patience and worry for me.



The mountain definition of a roped party.



So we hiked to the bottom of the mountain together again. And the continuing day brought new hikers who walked on the same path as me, but although they had treats and wanted Arnika to come to them, she faithfully stayed at my side all the time. I was genuinely starting to get worried and had teary eyes when I thought about how I would have to say goodbye to her. When we reached the final turn on the road just before my parking spot, Arnika went a bit further ahead and I didn’t see her anymore. I put all my equipment in my car, slowly, and silently hoped that Arnika would come to say goodbye to me, like she should have. But Arnika was nowhere to be seen – but the memories of her joining me and me almost adopting a dog on my trip, stayed with me till this day.



“Follow me, I’m lost too!”

Matej Moškon
Matej Moškon

I live an exciting quadrangle love-life with my family, my company and with the mountains. Top-quality gear and advanced technology follow me on my every step in life for decades. I seek answers on many questions in nature and it is here, where I find my true inner peace. The responsibility for my work fills me with a proud feeling of being useful to somebody. I love to follow and resolve questions on configuration advices, project performances, searching for causes of errors, etc. I gladly share all my experience with everybody that would like to hear them.

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