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Abby Takes A Hike

Wow! That’s the right word, fer sher. This morning, I got my lazy tuchus out of bed at the ungodly hour of 06:00, stumbled downstairs to make some breakfast and coffee, then got some gear together, and loaded myself and Abby into the car. We drove to a trailhead just a few miles from her — the trailhead for the Tolcat Canyon trail up Mt. Olympus. Abby was all excited as I was putting everything together and even moreso when I was driving.

As far as I know, Abby’d never gone hiking before. Her former family doesn’t seem to be the hiking sort, but who knows? Anyway, we started up the trail with the fairly modest goal of going about ¼ of the way to the top. We took lots of rest breaks (not entirely for her benefit, either!) and I encouraged her to smell anything she wanted to, to check out some animal trails that crossed our trail, and generally do what she wanted…as long as we continued up the trail.

One hour, almost exactly, after the left the car, we arrived at what I’d planned to be our turnaround spot. We sat there for a few minutes looking at the view. This fearless little girl stood at the edge of a 50 foot dropoff and just looked down the “cliff” like she’d been doing it all her life! I couldn’t quite tell whether she wanted to go on — she seemed to have plenty of energy left — or if she’d had enough, so I headed up the trail. Within 100 feet, it became clear that she was tired and didn’t want to keep going.

So, we turned around and headed back down the trail towards the car. I wish I’d thought to take video (heck, even photos!) of her prancing down the trail, ears all the way up, tail back, and looking at everything. She was clearly having a Good Time. About halfway back to the car, she looked up at me like she was thinking “Daddy, I’m tired”, so I scooped her up (that’s one good thing about her being so small!) and carried her for a couple of hundred yards or so. Then, back down and off she went.

Every time we passed other people on the trail, this painfully shy (NOT!!) girl just started squirming and standing on her hind legs to say “Hi”. She was downright insulted if somebody didn’t acknowledge her :) But we continued down. Near the trailhead is a large rock called “Pete’s Rock”; there are a lot of good training climbs on the rock and I’ve spent countless hours there over the decades practicing this move or that. The trail goes right past Pete’s Rock very close to the top of the rock. So, when we got to Pete’s Rock, we went off trail and scrambled to the very top. Abby was, of course, fearless and so proud of herself. And, as before, she didn’t mind standing at the very edge looking straight down about 35 feet.

After a few minutes there, we scrambled back down to the trail and returned to the car, a bit tired, but very, very happy. Was she tired out? Hard to say. When we got back home, she was full of energy and playing with the other dogs, especially Dakota and Travis. But right now, she’s lying in my lap, sound asleep while I blog.

I had so much fun with her today, and I kinda believe that she had just as much fun. Heck, with a few more training hikes, she’ll be ready to go to the summit of Olympus!

On this day..

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