Sunday, November 11, 2012

Not a Hiking Challenge, but a Challenging Hike

It was supposed to be rainy all day, which is why Mommy took me hiking yesterday afternoon, but then today Mommy finished her chores at noon and it still hadn't rained so she asked me if I wanted to go for a hike.  I said yes and when she asked me if I wanted to go hike Yellow Trail I started barking and following her around telling her to hurry up.  So, Mommy got everything together and we got in the car and drove the half hour to Yellow Trail.  I got out of the car and whined at Mommy to hurry up and when we got to the trail head, I suddenly announced that I didn't want to hike Yellow Trail, I wanted to hike Pink Trail.  Pink trail is a half mile long and you never are out of sight of the parking lot.  It was an add-on trail that Mommy would let me do when we did longer hikes down to this preserve.  Mommy said, "No, we can do Blue Trail to Yellow." I insisted on Pink. Mommy said, "Okay, let's do Red to Yellow instead and then we can do Pink after." I walked up Red because it leads to Pink and when we got to Pink I insisted on turning onto Pink. Mommy gave in and said, "Fine, we'll do Pink to White and White to Yellow."

 Pink Trail looking at the parking lot

 Pink trail goes around a lake. These rocks really show low the water level is because of the drought.

When we got to White Trail Mommy went up it and I did this:

Mommy calls this my stubborn mule pose. I have the brakes on and you are not going to move me.  If you pull on my leash any more I will lie down.

So Mommy gave in and we did the whole Pick loop then Mommy cut through the parking lot and took me to where Red and Blue meet and said, "Which way? Red to Yellow or Blue to Yellow?" and I said I wanted to go back to the car.  Mommy said, "We are not going home after only walking Pink.  Red Loop or Blue Loop?" I said car.  Mommy said, "Fine. Blue Loop." and DRAGGED me down the start of Blue Loop.  This was dog abuse if you ask me.  After it became clear that the car was not an option I hiked along just fine.

Blue is a nice hike through the woods.

I took a picture too

We hiked Blue to where it merges with Yellow where I met up with a French bulldog puppy who could smell that Mommy had treats and kept jumping on her begging for one.  Mommy asked if it was alright to give him one and his daddy said yes, so he got a bit of milkbone.  When we left him I told Mommy I needed a treat too so she reached in her bag and pulled out a piece of kibble.  I gave her my "you must be joking" look and refused to take it.  She got me a bit of milkbone out of the bag and I ate that right up.  We then followed Yellow to where it connects to Red and then we took Red back to the car.

 Hooray the car!

The hike only came out to 1.7 miles even though we walked on every trail except one (White) in the park, so it was too short to count for our wild card in the County Hiking Challenge.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

County Hikiing Challenge 11/15 or Maybe Not

Today it got up into the mid 60s, which is really weird for around here at this time of year.  Mommy and I took our morning walk and I pretended to come up lame when I didn't want to leave the lake, but Mommy wasn't fooled.  Then she cut down the last of her gardens and mowed and raked up more leaves for the big sucker truck to come get.  I made sure the squirrels stayed up in the trees and the feral cats stayed out of my yard, and then Mommy said, "Let's go hiking."  When she went in to see what the last two hikes were she realized that we might not have enough time to do either of them in, so we went to the preserve that I could walk to when I was younger and did some of that instead.  We have a "Wild Card" option on our hiking challenge so we may count this hike, although I really want to do the yellow trail Mommy wouldn't let me do on the river hike too, so Mommy isn't writing down today's hike as our wild card, just in case we get to the yellow trail.

So here's the hike.
There were a lot of dogs on the trail today, so there was a lot of pee mail to check.  You can see that the plants have gone dormant for fall.
This trail is the savanna with prairie, swamps, ponds, a creek, and little patches of trees.  Mommy and I had planned to walk to the creek, but when we got to the preserve there was a sign saying the creek walk was going to be closed until late December for improvements. Mommy and I decided to walk to the patch of trees in the background there instead.

Mommy stopped suddenly while I was doing some sniffing and got out her camera, so I figured she was going to be taking boring pictures of birds like she does at this preserve and I took advantage of her being distracted to grab a big mouthful of treats out of her bag. I was so happy eating my stolen treats that I didn't notice that Mommy was taking a picture of

A great big bunny!  He was very close to us and I didn't have a clue.  He was downwind of me so I couldn't smell him and I think that is a good excuse and I'm sticking with it.  He could smell me and he started coming towards us.  Mommy got a little worried that he might become nasty since the deer are going into rut right now and a big buck like that might not think twice about trying to stomp a dog like me, but that didn't stop her form taking pictures of him when he stopped to get a better look at us.

But then he turned and decided to cross the trail about 15 feet in front of us.  I STILL DIDN'T SEE HIM because I was sniffing pee mail and stuff.

Once he was past the trail he ran off towards that old barn and Mommy lost sight of him.

When he headed toward the barn he got upwind of me and that was when I realized there was a big bunny out there somewhere.  I searched and searched but couldn't find him.  Mommy laughed at me and called me a "big old idiot", which I don't think was very nice.

We got to the clump of trees and turned around and the wind picked up and the sky started to look threatening.

We took the boardwalk through the swamp on the way back and stopped at the dock where the muskrats live.  Remember last time we were here the water was very low and I wondered what muskrats did when the water got so low.  Well, now there is NO WATER in the swamp!  I took a picture

and Mommy did too.  Poor Musky the Rat.  I hope he made it over to the creek and the construction isn't upsetting him too much.

It started to rain a bit towards the end of the hike, but not bad enough to make me get mad at Mommy, and then it stopped as quickly as it started.

Mommy liked the way the sun beams came out thought this crack in the clouds after the rain let up.

Total miles:  2.7

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Monthly Diary for October, 2012

Well, let's see. I posted quite a few Hiking Challenge "sub-posts" this month. You can read them here here and here. I also showed off my treat tins in this previous post if you want to see them.

Other than hiking this month I had another laser treatment. I was very good for the vet. When I got into the laser room I lay right down and barked at the vet to get started already. Then when she had done my left side and started to try to do the parts of my right side she can reach when I'm lying on it, I got up and turned over without her asking.  She told Mommy that she was very impressed by this. Mommy said she knew I'd pick up the pattern eventually.  I love those laser treatments and they make me feel so much better. I actually asked to play ball four times this last week. Mommy played some quiet catch games with me, but she didn't want me to play full out fetch because I always regret that for days, but she finally gave in on Halloween and threw the ball for me twice. I will admit, I've been a little sore since then, but Mommy says I have my next treatment on Tuesday so I should feel better then. 

Speaking of Halloween I helped answer the door again this year. If you check my previous "sub-post" you will see my costume. I got bored after about ten kids though and went to bed instead of answering the door. Mommy says Boo used to do that when he got older too.

I've taken some really long morning walks this month too. I did a 7 1/2 mile morning walk one day! It kind of became a morning/afternoon walk and we got caught in the rain, but I did the whole thing and was very happy the whole time. Mommy lets me choose my weekend walks and that was the one I chose. I've also gotten some of my speed back and can now grab and eat dead things that I find on the side of the road before Mommy can react again. My tummy doesn't think that is the best thing to do, but what does it know? I've also gone back to sleeping on the couch and counter surfing as well. The funny thing is that Mommy now says, "Wow! Look at you! You got that off the counter!" instead of "Bad dog! Get down!" She says sometimes she wonders why she's letting me have those laser treatments. I'm also chasing squirrels again. Mommy has been working in the yard a lot, cutting down flowers and raking leaves, which means I get to spend hours outside in the yard. The squirrels assume I am still the slow dog I was before the treatments and so they forget to look out for me before coming down from the trees. Then I get to chase them back up, which is lots of fun.  Well, I guess that's it for the month of October.  Sorry this is a rather boring update, but be sure to read the more exciting "sub-posts" if you didn't catch them when I posted them.