Sunday, October 6, 2013

County Challenge Hike 7/10 (With a Little Monthly Update)

It seems silly to do a full monthly update during County Hiking Challenge season since the important things that happen in the month are the hikes, but I do have a couple extras to tell.  When I went for my last laser treatment the vet told us she had gone to a pet industry conference and when she was going through the manufacturers exhibits she kept her eye out for products that might help dogs like me stay active, but she found nothing better than what Mommy had already bought for me (in order of addition to our family--my lifting harness, my life vest, and my stroller). So instead she spent a lot of time talking to the manufacturers about how there was a great big hole here, especially for large and giant sized dogs and she used Mommy and me and a Rottweiler patient of hers (he is over 100 lbs so most of the products I can use won't fit him) and his Mommy as examples of people wanting their big, disabled, older dogs to still be able to join them in activities.  So, who knows, maybe the manufacturers will listen and more products will start coming out.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Also, I got my 3 year rabies shot and Mommy said, "Well, I guess that is his last one of those." and the vet said, "I wouldn't count him out you know." and Mommy said, "He'll be SIXTEEN before he needs another rabies shot!" and the vet said, "You never know." This is the vet who was telling Mommy she'd have to decide when my world had gotten too small because of my hind end. Mommy says it would really be nice if I saw 16, but she's never met a dog my size who was that old.

Now for our hike.  Today's hike was at a preserve we haven't been to for about two years. The preserve is pretty much on the opposite side of the county and when I couldn't take long hikes anymore Mommy decided it wasn't worth the drive to go there.  The official hike was 1.5 miles long, but Mommy and I took the side trails as well so we hiked farther.

 I had over two years of pee mail to catch up on

The hike starts off going through woods made up of oak, black walnut and shagbark hickory.
These woods were planted by volunteers in the late 1970s when the county bought what was farmland and set about restoring it to woods and swamp.

There were lots of dogs on the trail, but they were all on leashes and most of them were tiny so I got to say hello to a lot of them. Mommy and I left the official trail because it was only doing the woods part and Mommy and I like the swamp part best, so we headed off on the swamp side trail.

When you get to the swamp there is a long serpentine boardwalk going over it.
The swamp was pretty dry, and there were no sandhill cranes for Mommy to ooh and ahh over because they decided it was time to head out right as we arrived at the preserve.  We heard them calling and saw them take off just as we started down the trail.  Not the best timing on Mommy's part.

After the boardwalk I decided I wanted to ride in my stroller so Mommy helped me in and we continued on to the end of the forest preserve and the beginning of a town park.  There is a pretty lake right at the end. I started barking that I wanted out of the stroller so I could go swimming but Mommy refused to let me out because the shoreline was covered in algae and she didn't want me swimming in it.  I got really mad, but Mommy insisted and we turned around to go back to the official trail.

 The pretty, but algae covered, lake

We hiked the bottom part of the official trail until it hooked up with the other side trail and then we took that trail to the end.  Mommy wanted to see what birds she could see at the overlook.

Not many! The overlook has become so overgrown you can hardly see the lake anymore.  People had created a thin path down to the lake, but my stroller wouldn't fit so we stayed on the trail.

I realized after the overlook that one of the problems with riding in the stroller is that Mommy doesn't understand the importance of stopping to smell the coyote poop. After we passed three piles without even pausing I barked to get out. Mommy and I hiked down to where the trail ends at a road and then we turned around and headed back to the official hike. Since I had smelled all the coyote poop on the way down I decided I wanted to ride again so I got in the stroller. We came across a lot of people on our return hike and all of them smiled or said something nice to me and some asked Mommy what was wrong with me. When we were about a .3 miles from the end of the hike I barked that I wanted out again.  Mommy didn't want to let me out because I was pretty stumbly on my previous bit of walking and she was afraid I was going to overdo it, but I insisted and a little puppy came up as Mommy was getting me out. She was scared at first but Mommy was talking to her mommy about me and after a bit the puppy wanted to wrestle, but I don't do that anymore so I barked at Mommy to get a move on so we could finish the hike, which we did.

Total miles hiked by me 2.2!! Total miles ridden 3.1. Total miles 5.3.

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