A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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In Quinn I Trust
28 Jun
By 2020
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Quinn next to the summit stones of Mt. Welch

by Tracy Goyette

One of the earliest lessons that I learned in interacting with Randy and the Mighty Quinn was to allow Quinn to do his work.

I can recall being frightened at each obstacle whether it was something for Randy to stumble upon, bash a knee or crack a skull. I was sure that Quinn might miss it. Often, with a spoken warning from me, Randy would offer a good natured “Yep, Quinn’s got it.”

I learned, after more time with Randy and Quinn, that there were some very good reasons why my desire to share knowledge of each obstacle was more of a hindrance than help. Randy offered some simple thoughts on this to me which I’ll share with you now.
1. Quinn is phenomenal but not infallible. If at any point you think Quinn is in danger of injury (like broken glass on the sidewalk) or if Randy was in serious danger – DO speak up. Otherwise…
2. Animals are  creatures of habit. If Quinn learns that he does not need to be as vigilant when a specific person is around then he may start being more lax at other times causing an even worse injury than the occasional mistake he might make with Randy’s full trust.
3. Input overload.  Consider the notion of a back seat driver.  We sighted folks can often resemble a back seat driver.  Certainly with all of the best intentions but nevertheless providing too much information when none is needed.
Now, imagine how the fears I spoke about earlier escalate when our intrepid heroes are navigating rough terrain of the mountains. I have recently been asked by several people “Tracy, I worry about Randy and Quinn and I’m not engaged to Randy; how DO you do it?”
The answer is, it is very hard.  Yet, I cannot second guess every step they take without worrying myself (and them) crazy.  Instead of providing constant feedback I try to remain vigilant as I walk in front of them. I am constantly weighing, is this a time when I should warn him or am I exaggerating the danger of this area? When I notice a particularly rough spot I do worry and I pause and look back, ready to chime in with a word of warning.   What is my most common sight when I do that?   I see Quinn with as much concern on his face as I feel at that moment.  I also see this remarkable dog making the right decision most of the time.  Seeing Quinn’s work day after day does inspire trust and comfort and has taught me, through experience, to believe.
Thank you Quinn, you are one remarkable dog!

2 responses to “In Quinn I Trust”

  1. Kimm3r says:

    Great post, LNT! I have often had the same reaction when hiking with Randy & Quinn. I have resigned myself to always hiking in FRONT of Randy instead of behind him. Easier to keep quiet for me 🙂


  2. Carrie says:

    As to those of us hiking BEHIND Randy and Quinn, thanks for the perspective and strength you bring here, Tracy! I will try to remember not be that annoying back-seat hiker, but also keep all of our safety in mind. I can’t wait to see Quinn in action!

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