BLUE, The Master Hiker

BLUE, The Master Hiker

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Movin' Time.....


Gotta move to a new place

Gotta head up the hill

Make a squeaky clean beginning

on beyond from here

through the window

leaving NO mess behind

But finding new heights ahead

with good company to guide

and more new company to come

and enjoy the times

but not for long

lots more to see

for you and me!

Join me in the new place............
you can become a subscriber to the postings very easily--just enter your e-mail............
you can also learn about trails, hiking advice, or maybe
become a serious crew member!

See you there!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beautiful, black, golden...... ASHLAND
It's not often that I find something
about a dog that has unending mystery to it.
For the most part, I guess dogs are pretty easy to figure out.
Doesn't take much to pick up on 'fun-loving', 'sociable', 'timid',
'daredevil' or even 'schemer' in a pup.
Ashland is a bit of a different sort.
I am certain it's her eyes, golden, almost abstruse eyes.

The eyes of Ashland hold a bit of mystery and distance
When I met her, I felt a warm distance, a pleasant quietness.
Noon on a sunny cloudless day in May kind of warmth. 
I had asked Lindsey for a black dog, one who might not get alot of "notice"
due to being more timid or mellow or some otherwise reason
that keeps him/her in the 'shadows' at Pine.
Ashland fit the profile I was searching for. She was definitely
a soft, polite, and obliging lady, just not in-your-face-with-her-amazing-cuteness.
Being five years old, this gal's a bit more mature
than most of the canines I have hiked with.
I wasn't sure how this would go, endurance-wise,
so I took her to the flat lands near the Missisippi in
Cliff Cave County Park last Sunday.
Interesting thing though,
Ashland didn't SEEM to have
alot to express.....
at least not on the surface.
She didn't jump up on me and wipe my face with her tongue, or
wiggle her entire body
to the point of dog-insanity.
She just walked with me outside the shelter, hopped up (with a little help)
into the back of the truck camper
and sat quiet.
She met two of my dogs
 with minimal rumbles.
Then we got to the trail.
 Her eyes lit up and her nose went high into the cold fresh air to relish in deer and raccoon scents and,
 well, it was time to do our hike.

Ashland and Scout seeking the outdoor aromas
She was a dog engaged in simple pleasures.
She found a sort of contentment in walking a good pace,
stopping to investigate now and then.
Not much for socializing with my two, though she seemed
more connected with Scout, my young female shepard-heeler mix
[previously a SR shelter resident :o) ].
She also did not appear ruffled by passers-by,
not even a couple of rather noisy cyclists stirred her.

Scout and Ashland-companions on the trail

Chillin for a few

Ashland kept up, and in fact, enjoyed a good sprint here and there.
One thing to note: she has a...sound.
She actually has more than one...sound.
Now, I didn't detect this sort of squeaky throat thing at the shelter,
and it didn't seem to be induced by any leash pulling
and thus gagging herself.
I think it may be she has had damage somehow (trauma?)
to her vocal cords.
It makes me heavyhearted to think she might have
been barking and barking for help or attention, or chained somewhere
for way too long...that her vocal cords might be expressing that pain....

That's when I felt the urge to
investigate by looking into her eyes.
Not only did I see a tiny bit of sadness,
but I also saw "complex"
and "profound"
in that girl's golden eyes.
She has something 
intriguing and mysterious
about her gaze.
Sadly, only SHE knows
what she has been through. 

I also felt a different bond with Ashland.
It was the kind of connection one has
their favorite pajamas!
Yep, she felt like that!
I mean, despite all the seriousness in her, 
Ashland was warm and fuzzy (so to speak!).

She let loose on a little water break. 
It was so cute to see her act a wee bit puppy-like!!

I believe Ashland has
ALOT of personality,
but she needs someone to
allow her to express it.
I see her content with finding a quieter home,
not requiring marathon-style exercise,
just daily walks
and gentle understanding.
Of course, a companion who enjoys
beauty and intense golden-eyed gazes
would be quite suitable.
(P.S. You can apply to give her a try here:

She will be waiting, patiently, with a warm welcome for you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just Joshua!
Really don't need much else.
Just Joshua is about all the canine companionship one needs.
In the mood to hang out after the holidays?
Joshua's ready, willing and able!
How about traipsing across a cold, wet bridge?
He'd be happy to oblige.
Just be prepared for some squirrel "hunting".
He'd be all over it!

Maybe meander about searching for some tasty leaves?
 Josh can dig that too, plus he's an expert stalker
 of large game, like lions, bear and.....frogs.
(I had a little trouble convincing him the frogs
were "some place warmer" right now)
Josh got into this "wilderness hike" <(NOT)
a little too....much, I think!

 In survival mode, so LEAVES were the snack du jour

 Man-dog vs. Wild? Grrrrr.

Whaddaya mean the water's 45 degrees?

He even had Blue convinced there were FROGS in that creek

Josh, I said, we're like 15 minutes from the 'burbs!
Just chill! How about we go to the house and
 get in front of a nice fireplace and have some beef stew?
I just wasn't gonna win this time. 
Somehow, we were going to do this his way.
Climbing hills and all.

Joshua's "what are you talking about?" look
Scrambling up the steep hill like a real rock-climber

NOW what?

Josh, that's just an acorn rolling around!


this black snowman design on his left flank! No--really!
Do you see it? Head, middle, lower section...Oh, so cute!
Back to the boonies...
Was there anything that he didn't want to do? Nope.
Joshua was a fine partner in bushwhacking
 the suburban WILDERNESS.
His face says, "awww stop", ^^but I think he liked that hug!
He seemed to think he had to be serious about
this back country thing.
All kidding aside, Joshua was definitely
a sweet, polite and compliant fellow.
Good in the truck, on the leash and everything in between.
He has some fears. Seems certain folks
and even the occasional canine can stir up a growl
or a nip into the air. I found that when he
focused on me, he could be easily
distracted and settle down amazingly fast.
The two times he got riled,
he cooled down in less than 15 seconds.

What an enjoyable dude.
Just Joshua.
He'll be waiting for someone to take him home,
even if it's the SUBURBAN JUNGLE.
Any chance YOU might want to be on the other end of that leash?