Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hiking in December

Long ago, in a land far away...

Ok, it just feels like that after an entire month of two foot snowpack. We're not used to that around here. I swear, people are still shoveling off their roofs.

Anyway...over a month ago, Chandler and I went hiking with friends in southern Connecticut. The snow was less than a foot deep, the air was pleasantly brisk, and the two English Shepherds and one Border Collie got along well.

That's Helo on the left, me in the middle,
and Kinnon the Border Collie on the right.
I like being on point.

The snow was probably about 10 inches deep, just enough to make it easier to stick to the trail that had been blazed through the preserve by an ATV. The dogs had a lot of fun running along the trails and through the deeper snow.

That's Helo running.
Another photo of Helo.
Mom is extremely envious of how much easier
it is to photograph shaded sables in the snow.

The dogs were having a great time just trotting ahead and sniffing, but the real excitement started when Kinnon decided to grab his owner's scarf and take off with it. Unfortunately for Kinnon, Chandler is a party boy, and thought that playing keep away with the scarf was a great game...if he had the scarf. As a result, Chander quickly confiscated it and took off.

I've got the scarf! I've got the scarf!!!

Kinnon took off in pursuit...

I've got the scarf! You can't get it!

...but he quickly backed off as Helo decided to get into the game. The two English Shepherds have more assertive temperaments than Kinnon, so the Border Collie seemed to decide that scarf chasing was a spectator sport as long as the other two were around.

Hey, when did you start chasing me?

Trying to grab it, eh?

Ok, I've still got the scarf...at least this end of it.

Eventually the scarf was rescued from the dogs, slightly worse for wear. I'm now pondering whether a cheap brightly colored scarf would be a good investment as a dog toy for future hikes...or an invitation to bad behavior. Maybe a long braided tug would be a better option.

The upshot of the entire scarf chase was that Helo decided that Chandler was Mr. Fun.

Helo really, really wants me to play.

From what I understand, he doesn't play with other dogs very often after having some bad experiences, so it was a treat to see him plowing through the snow after Chandler.

Uh oh, he's almost got me.

Whee! Escaped!!!!!!!!!

Dodge! Dodge!

Oh yeah? You want to play chicken?

It was also a real treat for Chandler. He loves to play with other dogs, but I have to be very careful which dogs he plays with because of his loose hips. Chandler has a long fuse before he stands up for himself, and prefers to avoid problems rather than start an argument in most cases. If we encounter a bully that won't let Chandler stop running, we have problems. The big risk is Chandler overstressing his hips trying to get away. But if we find the right dogs that allow pauses in play, things are great and everyone has fun. This hike had a very good mix of dogs, and I think all had a good time.

It is nice to have friends. :)

1 comment:

  1. Those are amazing shots Jean- thanks I really enjoyed your hike.