Monday, August 10, 2009

Hiking with my dogs

Today I would like to describe team whisner hiking. Todays blog is sure to dispel the myth that I am a dog trainer.

I hike for exercise. For fun too, but primarily it is exercise. I attach the dogs to a fanny pack so I can swing my arms. This also helps for flailing arms around when I trip over rocks.

They are attached to me because despite everything, I really like them and don't want them to be eaten by coyotes, chased by wild pigs, or kicked in the head by an irritated cow. There are some walks that they get to go off leash, but not the exercise hikes up Harvey Bear.

Tazzie (here in his winter full coat) is one of the hikers. He is a good hiker as long as we don't see any cows, coyotes, pigs, people, dogs, shadows, etc. Often Tazzie gets to go alone with me. One of the mommy and me things we do.
Fin also gets to hike. She prefers hiking downhill, does not like when ANYONE might be walking up the hill behind us, and likes some dogs, but not all. I suspect that Fin believes if she walks slowly behind me that the added weight will burn more calories. Often times, I will unlock the leash, hand it to my friend and take two of her BC's so that I can get a little help up the hills. Fin helps down hill...not up hill.

Our hikes are mostly pleasant. Then there are the not so pleasant times. These are whenever we pass anyone one the trail (hikers, dog walkers, bikers, and oh god no...horses).
I often walk with Laura who's dogs generally ignore everything and walk like soldiers. Tazz begins by standing a little taller, tail goes up, ears forward, and we get a little vocal "grrrring" going on. At this point I reel him in like a fish, take hold of his harness and lift him in the air. If I'm late in my harness grab, the spinning begins with low barking/growling. I laugh and say, "oh he is harmless," as I wrap him up in my arms holding his head, cuddling a raving lunatic.
Fin by now will decide whether she likes the person, horse, bike, and if the answer is no, will spin and bark (all be it, kinda humorous rather than threatening).
Once "the distraction" leaves, Fin happily continues our walk, Tazz is dropped to the ground and after a few barks and a little prancing we are on our way.


Marie said...

Love your description of your dogs reaction to meeting people and other things on hikes. I get a pretty varied response from the different members of our crew too. Our favorite hikes are on the ATV trails around our house. However, we avoid those trails like the plague during the annual ATV Jamboree. The hills around here are just crawling with people from all over the country, and it makes hiking with the dogs just plain miserable. That should start up in just another couple weeks, now that I think about it. :-(

Trish said...

I keep tellin ya, if it was easy EVERYONE would want to do it!

Only YOU actually wants to walk Tazz!

Trish said...

this is old blog, where new blog?