Friday, December 3, 2010

Lucy takes a hike

Maple Mountain trail

The day was damp and chilly, but at least it wasn't raining. Lucy was full of beans, and the other dogs needed a break from her.

Iza nice day, foster mama! Lets go fer a walk!


So I thought perhaps I would try taking her on the Wednesday Walk. I had stopped participating in these group hikes, as Charley and Sadie could no longer do the distance and I was finding the sheer number of dogs running around, not always responding to voice control, overwhelming. But it was going to be a small group - just four people and eight dogs, including Lucy and me.
So I piled her into the back of the van, behind the dog barrier, to take her to the meeting place.

Huh? Bars? This ain't my idea of a walk!

She was not impressed. When I momentarily got out of the vehicle to speak to the other walkers and determine our destination for the day, she either climbed over, under, or through the dog barrier and was in the driver's seat quicker than I could say "Where are we going today?". I took her out and tied her into the back, and then sat with her while we humans talked.....she strained and pulled and whined and simply wanted OUT OF THERE.

I don't like vehicles!

We decided on the Escarpment trail up the south east side of Maple Mountain. But when we got to the parking lot, it was clear that hiking with off leash, excited, tearing around and barking dogs was going to be far more stressful than either Lucy or I could handle. And so I piled her back into the van, and took her to a different trail - the old logging road up over the middle of the mountain. There, we had the whole area to ourselves. She was still highly anxious and spent most of the 90 minute hike with her ears flattened, anxiously sniffing the ground and jumping every few minutes at strange sounds only she could hear in the bush.

Ahm part hound dog!!!

Huh? Huh? Whazzat? Bear? Cougar? Sasquatch? Danger!

But hike we did. I swear that trail becomes steeper and steeper and steeper every time I hike it. We went up and up and up and up - something I had trouble capturing with the camera.

The road ahead

Given that we began just slightly above sea level, you can see from the views that we climbed a fair bit - and this was only half way up!

Views from Maple Mountain

Views from Maple Mountain (2)

We climbed some more, to the spot where the trail begins to wind down the other side (but where the trees hide any view), and then turned around to head home.

Lucy never did relax on the hike - any attempt to get a photo of her with a view as a backdrop resulted in this:

But it was still an enjoyable hike, with interesting things to see:

Curls of bark from a long-ago cut

Orange and black feathers from an animal kill

Tree so bent it seems rooted at both ends

When we got home, the first thing she did was throw up all over the carpet. Then she slept for the rest of the day.

I realized the day likely had involved too many anxiety-producing situations: first ride in the vehicle since I brought her home, first introduction to multiple excited dogs, first time on that particular trail, first time walking with me away from the village.

So....yesterday we went back to square one. Okay, square three. We went down to the seawalk, the beach, and the long flight of stairs.....all of which she handled like a pro.

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