News of Tillie’s ailing condition spread fast and hikers have been hitting the trails to catch a glimpse of the famous dog.
On Saturday, Tillie was “interviewed” by a Lexington television news station for the story, “People make pilgrimage for one last hike with a beloved Berea dog.”
With the help of a little pain medication, hikers reported that Tillie was dutifully doing her “job” Saturday and was enjoying some snacks and love pats from visitors on the East Pinnacle.
I headed up the trail Tuesday with hopes of catching Tillie on that Pinnacle. My partner Jimmy hauled my heavy camera and lens in a backpack (bless him) and I was prepared for a full-on photo shoot of Tillie with a breathtaking view as my backdrop.
We checked the various ledges after we got to the top, but there was no sign of Tillie. Although a trip to the Pinnacles is always an amazing experience, I was disappointed that I would not get one last hike with my little furry friend.
I took this opportunity to snap some photos of the green-covered hills and the cotton candy clouds. I turn around to leave and here comes Tillie barreling down the trail.
She stopped in the middle of the ledge and plopped down right in front of me. She acted as if she was just running a few minutes late for her photo shoot.
It was a serendipitous moment.
Behind her was a group of teenagers she had met in the parking lot.
Elise Everitt, 18, a recent graduate of Middle College at Eastern Kentucky University, had heard about Tillie on the TV news and wanted to see her for herself, she said.
She had hiked the Pinnacles twice before, she said, but never with Tillie.
“We thought we would just hike, but having Tillie is an added bonus,” Elise said.
Her fellow Middle College graduate Eva Scott, 18, said she hiked with Tillie years ago when her family was considering moving to Berea.