Each day of our walk on the Lycian Way, a different dog joined us. It would spot us leaving town and trot to catch up, then lope along side us until it was sure of acceptance. The one admiring the view joined our guide, Vedat, and me as we arrived in town, then turned back to greet Dave and Julie when it heard them following. It slept on the couch outside our hotel room, then followed us for 17km the next day. Whether it had a collar or an ear tag, or was clearly a stray, each dog was well behaved with friendly eyes and nary a bark. They all had the same hopeful, but not expectant, look in their eye when we produced food from our packs, and would lap water from Vadet’s hand when he poured some from his camelbak.
Vadet told us of a time he’d received a call soon after arriving at his hotel. The caller asked after a dog that had followed them for five hours. Vadet began a defensive explanation of how the dog had followed of its own accord, and the owner assured him that it was a frequent occurrence but he’d appreciate if the dog were kept at the hotel until he could pick her up. The dog was nowhere to be seen, but a couple of hours later the owner called to say that the dog had found its way home.
The dog in the tunnel escorted us on a walk along Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia. It climbed like a mountain goat and knew a network of secret tunnels. It would disappear into the scrub on one side of a hill and appear ahead of us as we reached the other side.