Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hiking with Laurie

As usual, I'm running behind on my posting.  On April 7th, I invited my friend Laurie and her dogs to join Chandler and me on our weekend reservoir hike.  She has two English Shepherds, Helo and Elvira.  This was their second visit to Buckingham Reservoir, as they had participated in Chandler's birthday celebration hike in October.  Elvira was a young puppy at that time, and she has done a lot of maturing since the last time we'd seen her.  She's bigger, but the most obvious difference is the appearance of her adult rough coat.  Of course she won't really be an adult until she is two, so at this point she's probably the equivalent of a teenager.

...not to mention playing with her is more fun now.

Helo was his usual amiable self.  It was good to see him doing well, because he has been having some issues with chronic Lyme disease and was undergoing more treatments at the time we took the hike.  Despite this, he seemed happy to see Chandler and me and even did a little bit of running during our hike.

Sable much easier to get a photo of even when the light is wrong.
I'd be a black blob from this angle.

The final member of our canine hiking party was Ellie, a little black mix that Laurie was dogsitting.  I'm told she was rescued off the streets of Shanghai China while her owner was working there for a few years, and presently lives in New York City.  She certainly seemed happy enough to have a holiday in Connecticut, and got so fascinated by the sights and sounds of the reservoir that Laurie had to leash her for part of the hike because she kept falling behind to investigate interesting things.

Who wouldn't be happy running through pine woods and on grassy trails?

This was the first time I'd ever circled the entire reservoir, and the dogs all had a great time playing chase and wading into the shallows.  Chandler was the only swimming fanatic in the group, so we spent more time hiking.

They don't know what they're missing.

However, I think Elvira decided that starting a chase game soon after Chandler emerged from the water was a good idea.  As usual, Chan got to be the chasee much of the time.  During one of their games I managed to get a great photo of an English Shepherd "pileup" as Elvira chased Chandler into an ambush from Helo who cut him off.  Ellie was playing too, but I think she's hidden behind Chan in the photo:

Hey, you all are supposed to be BEHIND ME!  Watch where you are going!

The only fubar occurred when Chandler mistook Elvira's alert barks directed at another hiker as evidence of a real threat.  I had to grab him and give him a stern lecture.  Hopefully Laurie will be able to visit again soon so I can do some active training to address the problem.  I'm sure the alert barking is the issue as he hasn't had any issues while we were hiking with other people.  Otherwise it was a great day, both for us and the dogs.

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