Friday, June 22, 2012

English Shepherd Hike: June Edition

Everyone had such a great time during our English Shepherd hike May that they immediately suggested that we get our dogs together again for another hike.  Because everybody has a busy schedule, we settled on monthly hikes.  Unfortunately Laurie with Helo and Elvira, and Stephanie with Oliver could not come this time.  However, we did get an unexpected and welcome addition to the June hike. Mary convinced our mutual friend Jenn to come that morning.  Jenn owns four English Shepherds and a Border Collie cross, but only brought Chandler's cousin Nixie and Pace's sister Jure along for this hike.  It was great to see Jenn, because she was one of my earliest mentors in dog ownership and English Shepherds.

Nixie had to stay on leash.
She has a tendency to think I need some teeth paws on management,
Although for this hike I suspect she thought I wasn't doing a good enough job managing the others.
Imagine that!

Once again, the dogs had a great time mingling and sniffing as we wandered up the trail.

Kateri is smiling in this photo.

The chase games started soon after all the dogs became comfortable with each other.  At one point the dogs ran back and forth between the trail and the river.  This involved zooming through the woods down a mild slope until they hit the water about 400 feet away.  I think they did this four or five times before we moved on.

Pace seemed to be having an especially great time because his sister Jure was there.  Although they live in the same house, Mary and Jenn have separate packs and households; Pace had not played with his sister for a while, so the reunion between the two 15 month old dogs was rather rowdy at times.  Unfortunately for Pace and Jure, honorary uncle Chandler was on the job as playground police and broke up anything that looked like it was getting a bit too crazy.  Chandler manages this with his presence and some judicious shoulder checks, as far as I can tell.

Hey...Pace just cut his sister off.
All I'm doing is telling him to cross the trail and ditch in the ferns.
What do you mean Jure looks like she is laughing?

When we got to the dam, a red tailed hawk glided over, catching the thermals in a spiraling pattern.  I was able to get some great shots because we were on the hill that forms part of the dam, while the hawk was circling over the nearby meadow.

Hawk? What hawk?  You were supposed to be throwing my bumper into the water!

Of course the reservoir was the main attraction for the dogs once we got to the waterside.  Michelle was pleased to see that Kateri did try a bit of wading again, although she was not quite ready to go swimming with the other dogs yet.

I don't think Kateri was too thrilled by the steepness of this bank.

...and it doesn't help that Bug makes it look easy.

While the dogs were playing in the water, Patches (somewhat) achieved what seems to be one of his great ambitions.  For weeks he has been trying to steal the sticks and retriever bumpers that Chan fetches from the water.  Chan has fended him off every time, or at least managed to hold on to the opposite end of a very large stick in one case.  On this hike, Patches finally managed to steal the bumper from Jure.  As far as I could tell, Patches was elated.  Jure wasn't so thrilled, but her morale quickly rebounded as our outing continued.

Patches had better not think that this will work with me!

Once again, everyone had a great time (despite playground police and bumper snatchers).  At the end of the hike we set all the dogs up for a group photo.  Our next hike is scheduled for early July.

Left to right: Nixie, Jure, Kateri, Bug, Pace, me, Bridgett, Patches.

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