Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hiking with Your Dog or Lauren and the Great Groundhog Adventure

Want a new adventure? Try taking a hike with your dog. Planning a special trip to a scenic place with your dog in mind is like a mini vacation for the mind and body. Exploring nature becomes more interesting with a canine companion.

A flexi-lead, a leash with a reel on it, can enhance this experience. Depending on what type of dog you have, your adventures will be different. An Afghan Hound will stare at the sky. Kazan used to stand transfixed and we thought he was a little odd. Then, looking at the same spot where he was staring, soon a plane or a bird would come into view. Thus the word sight hound!

Walking with a Keeshond is a completely different experience. Their number one priority is people. If you see a person on a hike with a Keeshond they will expect to stop, talk, pet, lick and generally say hello to everyone. Isn't that what life is all about? Well, at least it is to them.

If people are absent they will act like many other dogs, Terriers, Spaniels, Hounds and Herding dogs, they will look for wildlife. Once on a hike with Patty, a young female Keeshond, she suddenly dived into the weeds and came up with a MOLE! YIKES! While not exactly hunters in the big game sense, Keeshonden are more in the mode of, "Lets get rid of and/or have fun with all these little critters."

The largest "game" the Keeshonds ever tackled was a groundhog. One afternoon I saw my beautiful Lauren, she of the show ring and silver coat, running toward the house from the woods.

Covered with mud she slid into a huge puddle, dropped something into it, and looked up at me with the widest Keeshond grin, tounge hanging out - sheer happiness. Shortly my son appeared from the same woods, running and yelling at her, he leaned over and smacked her very upset. She absolutely did not care, obviously having the time of her life.

It seems that Ryan and Lauren were on a hike in the field when they came upon three young groundhogs. Lauren gleefully dispatched the first one by grabbing it off a tree and shaking it. One quickly dived down a hole saving its little hide. All the while Ryan was trying to stop the mayhem, while Lauren his 4-H obedience dog was blissfully unaware of anything he was doing.
She then snatched another groundhog shook it and started running to the house with her prize.

So, if you want to have an adventure - take a hike - and don't forget the dog.

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