Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday Hike Report for 7/15/11

Another fantastic day on the trail for our Friday Hikers! The weather was just sublime and we were comfortable all day. Today, we went to Pratt’s Brook Park in Yarmouth from 8:45 until 11:00 a.m. and then to Fuller Farm in Scarborough from 12 to 2 p.m. Both locales offered a ton of fun for the dogs! At FF, we ran into the crew from Portland's Paws and I was so pleased that our pack was so social and kind to the 5 dogs hiking with the PP folks. Yay!

OSCAR Yorkie was hiking with us for the first time today. He’s still pretty young and is just about to transition from the DWD Puppy School to our Graduate Program for Small Breeds next week. He was a superb hiker! Initially, we had him drag a leash until we felt comfortable that he knew how to “check in” with us and would come back to us when we squeaked our squeaker. Once he knew that treats were involved, he was THERE consistently! Yay, Oscar! He made friends with Duke Puggle, who will be in his Tuesday Pack, and also really enjoyed Angus Cairn Terrier. Oscar is welcomed to join us for Friday hikes whenever his parents can send him! Welcome aboard, Young Man!

JETHRO Choc Lab returned to the pack today after being absent just before the school vacation week. We missed him!! Jethro is crazy in the woods and especially in the fields with the tall grass! It totally turns him on to bounce around in those fields! What is he looking for? We just don’t know, but it makes us laugh time and again. Jethro managed to find a TENNIS BALL in the woods at each location today, and then he had to do all sorts of crazy stuff with try to bury them, make mud pies with them, play some sort of fetching game for one (himself) in the water with them. It was nuts! We were glad to have our buddy back! Rosie wants him to be her BFF but he just raises his lip at her and shows her his big wolf teeth, which also makes us laugh out loud! Poor Rosie!

ROSIE Black Lab was her usual crazy self on the trail today. Thanks again to Dukey for putting up with her wild antics which usually involve tackling him, biting his neck, stealing his sticks and other assorted mayhem. Rosie had a blast and ate a ton of grass, gnawed on half a forest full of trees, swam in every water source, including mud puddles, and was just full of energy, as usual. We love you, Rosie...and it’s a good thing you’re so darned beautiful, baby!! Lola Sharpei Boxer has become a great pal for Rosie, and we are loving that....because Lola is about the same size as Rosie and can go paw-to-paw with her without us worrying that she’ll get hurt. Thanks, Lola!

LYLA Italian Greyhound/Min Pin was outstanding on the trail today, as usual. She is totally in her element in the woods and she and Lola are ALWAYS hot on the trail of some vermin or other! Addie is usually right with them, too. Lyla always returns as soon as she’s called and LOVES all the food rewards. Lyla is definitely getting the hang of our hikes and loosens up and enjoys her pack mates more each time she’s with us. We love this! She’s always a frontrunner and trailblazer, for sure!

LOLA Sharpei Boxer gave us a little trouble in the field after our first outing at Pratt’s Brook Park, because we couldn’t get her to come to us to get leashed for the last leg of the journey to the car. I decided to “trust” her that she’d come along with us safely and she did. But...then we had to coax her with some water in the water bowl in order to get our hands on her to put her in the car. Success! And a leash...ha ha! We outsmarted her at Fuller Farm and caught her BEFORE she knew what was up. HER leash was the first to go on. Other than that slight blip, she was wonderful and silly and fun! She is continuing to build some nice relationships with her pack mates and we can totally tell that she really likes certain dogs now. She will play bow and slam her paws down on the ground in front of Addie or Angus or Duke and get them to chase, wrestle and play with her. It’s adorable, as is she! We love her!

LILY Pomapoo had her first off-leash hike on Monday with the DWD school dogs and her second today. We think she’s wonderful in the woods. But, let me tell you -- she ONLY has eyes for Brody. These two are in LOVE! It’s ridiculous, really. She has to sit on his lap, pose for pics with him...and she’s always turning around to make sure he’s right there when she’s marching down the trail. He loves her right back, which is kind of heart-warming. Lily played with all
the big and small dogs in her class and she’s not shy about telling any dog who is too rough to buzz the heck off! I love that about this little 4.7 pound gal, don’t you? Lily, of course, road on Brody’s lap in the car. Good gawd...these two are joined at the hip!

MOLLY Morkie had a blast, as usual, on our hike. She really loved having Lily PP along and they shared Brody toward the back of the pack most of the time. Molly and I have actually grown pretty close on these hikes and I like to have her alongside me as well! She just makes me smile all the time because she’s such a rubber band...jumping over roots and boulders and bouncing like a bunny through the fields and forest! And she loves the water! Molly has a crazy bark when we meet up with other dogs/people in the woods and occasionally when we are in the car and she sees something. So, we’re working on that. Otherwise, she’s perfect and we ALWAYS love having her joyful heart along with us on these hikes. Wouldn’t be the same without her, truly!

DUKE Puggle was great again today. Other than whining in the car here and there, and excitedly barking here and there, he’s a dream to have aboard. He puts up with Rosie’s rough love all day and reluctantly shares his sticks with her. He’s nice to all the new dogs who join our group. He has more energy than almost any dog in the pack. He is obedient on the trail and never takes off on us. What’s not to love? Oh...and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a super cute baby, right? Duke seems like he was made for the Maine woods. He’s a true outdoorsman, or...outdoorsdog! Seriously!

ANABELLE Sheltie continues to be a favorite of the Pack Leaders and the pack members alike. She is just so steady and reliable on the trail and she is full of fun when we stop at the watering holes. She loves to be chased through the underbrush at break-neck speeds by the entire pack. It’s amazing to watch....and challenging to catch with the camera! This gal can MOVE! Anabelle gets into the water up to her belly, but she’s yet to truly swim with the group. That’s okay! We really enjoy having her along and she’s been such an amazing student at DWD that even THIS writer is thinking about maybe getting a Sheltie in the future.

ANGUS Cairn Terrier is yet another favorite of everyone! Angus has been beautifully behaved from the get-go with our hikes and he is completely at ease and in his element in the woods. His terrier build was made for the rocky terrain and he easily scrambles up and down banks to get to his favorite thing: swimming! I get so much joy from watching this sturdy boy dog paddle with his little head just above the surface. He’s been wonderful in the back seat, long as he gets a window seat! I think he missed Casco and Tonya this time out! Sorry, Angus...

ADDIE Schnauzer...last to get written about, but I assure you...NEVER last on the trail! Addie is very independent and curious in the woods, but she’s been really dependable on recall and we feel confident in her in the woods. She does venture off to explore the areas adjacent to the trail but she returns when we squeak our squeaker. Addie does like the water, even though she’s not gotten ALL the way in. She did a lot of rubbing of her snout and back in the grass when we got to areas that were good for this. It DID make me slightly nervous, as Addie missed our last hike because she had a serious allergic reaction to something environmental (we think an insecticide on someone’s lawn) about two weeks ago. But, she seemed fine other than the occasional back scratch! Addie sat in the back seat on the floor behind the driver (me) in the car and squeezed her snout in between my seat and the door so she could give my hand a few kisses....and accept a few stealthily-dispensed pieces of kibble during the car rides! Hee hee...that’s just part of being one of the teacher’s pets, right?

ABSOLUTELY great hike again today, folks! I will post a photo album on FB and send those of you w/o FB a link so you can see all the terrific photos taken by me and Brody on our outing. I am so grateful to ALL of you parents for funding your dogs’ weekly adventures. They are truly so lucky to have all of you!! XO

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