Beautifully written Cookie.
Your trip sounded amazing.
My October is completely booked with non-hanging stuff, but I've been planning for months to hike in there in November.
Did you start from Upper Whitewater Falls?
He is your friend, your companion, your defender... he is your dog. You are his life, his leader, and master. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of that devotion.