Arkansas star still on his trek

By Stefanie Brazile

Last summer, we featured one of Arkansas’s Hiking Ambassadors — a four-legged cutie named Cedric Boomer Diggory. Boomer and his devoted owner are passionate about exploring trails and sharing those experiences on his Instagram at hotdiggorydog.

The top of Sugarloaf Mountain

“My understanding is that it’s a program run through Arkansas Tourism, and they choose people, mostly, who do a good job at showcasing the state in the areas of arts, food, hiking and other areas. Boomer was the only dog ambassador last year,” owner Lizzie Heatherington said. “He received some ambassador swag.”

Heatherington is a native upstate New Yorker who chose the Dachshund because her downtown Little Rock apartment would best accommodate a smaller breed. At the time we introduced Boomer to readers, the pair had hiked the challenging side of Pinnacle Mountain more than 30 times and listed other favorite hikes as Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area in Pulaski County; Petit Jean State Park in Conway County; Lake Catherine State Park in Hot Spring County; and Mount Nebo in Yell County.

Since we last checked on Boomer, he and Heatherington went to Maine and completed his longest trek — a 10-mile hike over three mountains. They also celebrated Christmas in New York. “He’s such a good little hiker,” she said.

Boomer continues to fill his time off the trails with training. He’s learning to perform tricks, which is good mental stimulation, according to his trainer. Heatherington said he has learned how to jump through a hoop, run through a tunnel and to climb up on things on command.

Downtown Little Rock

“He is so active, but he is the sweetest dog who wants cuddles and scratches. He also wants to be the center of attention,” Heatherington said. While humans love to shower him with attention, one of his feline brothers resents it.

“At home, his complete nemesis is Finney, and they are in a battle for the couch in my office and who will get to watch me work,” she said with a laugh. Fortunately, Boomer gets along well and likes to nap with his other cat brother, named Albus.

Heatherington enjoys walking Boomer downtown and eating at restaurants with dog-friendly patios. An easily recognizable breed, the wiener dog makes people smile. And he is frequently recognized from his posts. In February, the pair attended the SoMa Mardis Gras parade. “Everyone wanted to throw him beads and put them on. He was very loving and very into it,” Heatherington said.

Boomer hangs-out in Little Rock’s River Park with friend Waffles.

On March 5, Boomer turned 5, and many of his dog pals and their humans came over to celebrate. “We grilled and he got a little steak, and I bought doggie cupcakes that he shared with his friends,” Heatherington said.

As the weather warms, the pair are taking on a new challenge. As the Arkansas state parks system celebrates 100 years, Heatherington and her golden boy have set a goal to visit all 52 parks this year. Their progress can be followed on his Instagram page, or you might be lucky enough to meet everyone’s four-legged friend on a trail.