BLUE, The Master Hiker

BLUE, The Master Hiker

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THE ROCK!!!!!!!

 Havin a little rawhide on the rain-soaked deck
Exploring the yard with THAT NOSE!

Rainy days were meant for hiking with Rock. This enthusiastic hound/terrier mix was a blast to be with on this cloudy and drizzly day! I was a little hesitant about heading out in wet weather with a dog I don't know well, but approaching Rock's "apartment" in the Pine Street shelter changed my mind. He looked ready for anything--his soft, smiling eyes seemed to tell me we would do just fine.
He seemed a little shy about hopping into my camper, so I lifted him into it, which he thought was just the opportunity he needed to give me a sloppy kiss! He rode nicely in the truck without incident. Back at the house he was instant buddies with my dogs, never showing any sign of dominance nor aggression.

Lets go!

Our hike was awesome! Rock has some great energy....and he had a nose that wouldn't quit! The hound in him was such a strong part of his personality-he really could not stop sniffing all the new smells of the outdoors. He and Callie (another hound, and therefore nose-dog) joined forces locating some interesting finds, including a deer antler left on a stump. Whoever left it there, thank you! They couldn't quite figure out where the rest of the animal was, but they gave it a good old hound try! They were like two little kids discovering a treasure chest in the sand! Rock cooperated well on leash, though he seemed a little timid with us humans. I am wondering if there was an overly stern previous "companion" to make him so hesitant (only once in a while) or if he was just plain polite!
Hiking and "holding paws" with Blue
The NOSE rules!
The hounds became such sweet friends!

A visit to the creek
Is he pointing? Look at the white tail tip!
Rock really loved to lick my chin and wag that white-tipped tail of his!

I really didn't want to end this visit. He was such a loving, curious and sweet dog. I enjoyed sharing a ton of kisses and hugs with him. Since he is young, he has plenty of years to spend with the right human companion. He certainly deserves a fine home with plenty of opportunities to use that nose and wag that adorable long tail. Come and visit him, or even better--take him on a hike like I did. There is a new HIKING NOTEBOOK at the Pine St. location with all the dogs that have been taken out through my program. Or you can also e-mail me at to get involved.
Rock really is a great hiker, and I bet he is wonderful in many other ways as well. He needs a good human companion, maybe you?

Wishing he didn't have to leave the "trail of scents"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Octane--oh yeah!

Body of steel!

Face full of grass and plant matter

So, is there any way I can properly describe Octane to the readers...hmmmmm. ACTION! Yep, ACTION! He has the perfect name....though I would add "higher" to Octane--like the more expensive gasoline at the pump. He runs at a different pace than most of us humans, unless you are a high energy sort--perhaps a high school cross-country runner, or a tri-athlete, actively involved in competitions....or maybe a greyhound in a past life. In all seriousness, Octane is a darling! He does have a ton of ENERGY (AND I WOULD HATE TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH HIS CARBON OFFSETS) but if you have a sense of humor, he is the perfect companion! He made my family laugh over and over!
Max chasing Octane-eventual creamery butter
As I introduced him to everyone, he immediately fell for Max (another dog with the RIGHT NAME), my son's blue heeler--age one. They were like two halves of a lightening bolt! The two of them ran around and around and around the garden area til they became BUTTER .....Perhaps it was the similarity in energy level, or their ages--Octane is also one year old--but wow did they get along perfectly. I do think Octane needs an active canine buddy to jostle and chase--he has a best friend named Betty Boop (see yesterday's posting) who joined us this day for our hike and she does just that.

Octane and his Stray Rescue pal, Betty Boop
So off to the trail we went--Octane, Betty Boop, Max, Blue, my sons Andy and John and of course me. I was more of an observer this time--some picture-taking and some laughing as I watched Octane run my boys up and down trails, in and out of the creek, and across a nearby field. If there was ever a dog I wished I could let loose to run free, it was Octane. Knowing that he could get away brought me back to my senses, and at least my sons could keep him happy running at a good pace. He certainly was cooperative considering his level of activity and interest in the new natural surroundings. He had to roll on his back several times and get that woodsy, outdoor scent all over himself--pur pleasure. Octane had a sweet disposition and a softness that made him so huggable! He clearly could use some beefing up, though I am sure he has been gaining some of the weight he needs while at the Pine Street shelter. (I watched him eat before we left and yes--the food was gone in seconds flat!) One of the softer moments on our hike was when he found a toad near a tall hickory tree. He was absolutely hilarious as he tried to figure out THAT little guy! He also tried to eat him...(I will say this pup has an oral thing going on. He did some chewing in the back of my truck, and it wasn't a chew toy he "damaged"--just a warning to that potential human companion!)

  Enjoying the field with John

Hey you!

Andy and Octane
Well, as I said, Octane has ENERGY. He is cute, comical and sweetly soft. His right ear likes to bend backward alot--making him seem even sillier! I have heard he was a "resident" at Gasconade before arriving at Pine. I cannot imagine how miserable he may have been--thank goodness he will be able to become someone's best friend instead of the likely demise he would have experienced.  :(
If you or someone you know wants to have alot of fun and share alot of years with this really awesome guy, come by Pine Street and see Octane. He may be just the right buddy for you.
Will you be the pal Octane needs?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Betty Boop--she has all the appeal of the original! 

"Poop Poop Pee Doop"
   If there's a more tolerant and understanding female at Stray Rescue, show her to me! Betty Boop, a one to two year-old terrier mix, showed us what a great friend she is to her roomie, Octane (see article on him 9/26) as we chose to take the pair hiking on this gorgeous fall day. She was quite the companion--willing to wrestle, chase and of course hike with Octane as well as two of our dogs. Though the first half of the hike she required one of my sons (much stronger than I) to be her "hiking partner", she slowed down to a more gentle, natural pace without the pulling so often seen by dogs who've had minimal training on a leash. She seemed to know what her human partner wanted of her...she was cooperative and totally a mature girl--a people pleaser if I have ever seen one. And though she may look like a fullback, she acted like a petite princess! How I would have loved letting her off leash to run and explore....(BTW, that is NOT ALLOWED!)

Betty Boop was such a people pleaser (with my son Andy)

Wrestling with her roomie, Octane

During our adventure on the trails, she was more interested in the dogs and humans in her presence than her woodsy surroundings (even the toad didn't hold her attention) but I believe this to be because she REALLY IS a companion and is willing to go ANYWHERE she can with others! I am certain that the special someone(s) who is fortunate enough to adopt her--and give her that love she is CRAVING--would be able to stimulate her interest in the outdoors. She was definitely alert and active. Not the pace of her buddies, but she's a big girl, and I believe just a bit below the bar on prime physical conditioning! (That can be remedied!)

"A toad....ummmmm.....OK??"
   Betty Boop's nature is so personable....I think the more people in her life, the better! Thank goodness--for now--she can be entertained by Octane (AND WOW! IS HE EVER ENTERTAINING--SEE MY WRITE-UP ON THIS BUNDLE OF FUN!). Knowing she has him in her "room" made taking her back to Pine Street a bit easier. Please check her out if you want to have PURE CANINE LOVE!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

OSCAR P.....the "P" must stand for PERFECT!

In the creek --isn't he gorgeous?
Tethered to the MASTER HIKER, Blue
I couldn't help it!
    If there is one thing I do know when I see it, it's a great dog. Oscar P, a black lab/terrier mix about 1.5 years old, could be a companion for so many different types of humans! But he really has one very obvious talent--hiking and trail running! I always get a kick out of going down to see Tammy at the Pine Street location on the weekends--(she is in charge of the day shift and helps me choose an eligible dog)--as we walk along and find just the right one to scoop up and load into my truck. She wasn't sure Oscar would work out, especially with my other dogs--but HE CERTAINLY DID! (Thanks Tammy for your insight)

Alert and curious
I don't need to say anything here!
     Anyway, he hopped right into the back seat and put those big black front paws on my center console (do dogs know about ridin shotgun?), and away we went to meet the crew back home. He made me laugh as he saw himself in the rearview mirror--tilting his head to one side pondering--what's that cool-lookin black dog doing inside that little rectangle staring back at me?! Oscar was happy to have some fun with my heelers in the back yard--running and chasing, sniffing and exploring for a good half hour. He was gentle and friendly to all the dogs. (I do feel he has a dominant side (and is a bone holder--see below), so perhaps he should be a solo companion or a second dog to one that is easy going/beta is advisable--but that is JUST MY OPINION!)
     Off to the trail we went, and again he rode well in the truck, no gross vomit or other body liquids/solids to deal with (I hear stories from friends with dogs who DO NOT do well in autos.) Oscar P loved every minute of our two hours in the woods, ESPECIALLY THE CREEK! A true lab--down in any water I would let him into. He never pulled hard, just felt politely firm and focused on moving. A bit of trail running was even more his style, so let it be known right here that THIS DOG IS AN OUTDOOR MASTER! I have no idea if he ever had any prior chances to be out in the sticks, but he sure seemed comfortable. He stopped for sounds in the trees and hillsides (wonderfully curious), and was obedient when he was asked to wait off the trail while other hikers needed to pass. He "held hands" with Blue really well--it's a method I use when I feel that the dog I hike with will attach to (through trust) one of my dogs, as Oscar P did with my dog, Blue.

Sweetly sniffing a caterpillar on a log!
     The down time back home was sweet. Oscar P took his rawhide bone inside some of my 3-4 foot tall perrennials and chewed himself into a nap. When he woke, he hopped up, revealing his necklace of greens he had wound around himself! Still a bit of puppy in that boy, for sure!!He wanted to go back inside the house to see the other canines, and again he showed polite behavior indoors. Here he is looking in the back door--so cute!
Can I go inside again?
Yes we have a baby pool.
     Well, needless to say, I did not want to take him back to Stray Rescue. As a child, I brought MANY dogs home begging my parents---"PLEEEEASE can I keep him, pleeeeease?" (So far I have won on five, currently--as an adult!). This guy could have been number six. But, I know Oscar P deserves a different companion, and, if you hurry, he could be yours! I don't think he will be without a best friend for long. Check him out at the Pine location (downtown) if you are seriously looking for a great canine pal, OR I WILL!

A BONE HOLDER (I made this up!) is a dog that really doesn't want to chew the bone, but it is a symbol of status (til later when the chewing time is right). He will prance around and let others see the bone, maybe lay the bone down in front of him while he naps, etc.
A BONE WARRIOR is a dog that actually defends her bone with some serious barking, growling or even fighting.
BTW, a dog can go back and forth on these bone labels. I have BONE WARS in my house allllll the time!  :o)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mandy the Merriest!

Listening for critters
Tethered happily to Blue
Taking John for a hike
Sniffing out that chipmunk
Enjoying a hug  :o)

     There couldn't have been a more beautiful day for hiking with a two-year old shepard-terrier mix than this 70 degree September afternoon. I believe that even if it had been ice storming (!), Mandy would have shown the level of enthusiasm she did today when I picked her up from Stray Rescue's Pine Street location. She greeted me as if we had previously met--with ample kisses across my face! I sure haven't run across such a HAPPY DOG in a long while! As we got in the truck to head to the house, she politely hopped in the front seat next to me and licked me again. Somewhere in her merry bones, she already knew we were going on a hike.
     Meeting "the canine gang" went well, except with our heeler pup, Max (age one), who is a tough dude for most stranger-dogs to befriend. He figured out Mandy was dominant (to him), so he backed away and let her show her gentle superiority. She loved my sons, licking them and displaying that "wow I haven't had this many fun people in one place ever!" behavior.
     Our hike was a challenging one, up and down rocky hillsides and over and under felled oak and hickory trees. Mandy was light on her feet, and kept up with Blue and Caledonia, and even my son, John. He ran her on that trail til she should have become exhausted (like Blue and Callie did), but--nope--she was still going strong at the four-mile mark. Not overly energetic, just in good shape--an excellent trail-running dog, if you ask me.
     She could tether without difficulty to Blue, my "master hiker", though she tended to pull him a bit. I think she just needs to be trained a little better on-leash. She certainly enjoyed all the things she saw and smelled, and some of the pulling would be expected with her obvious JOY in hiking FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE! (I like to try tethering because it gives the dog a friend to "hold hands" with, as well as a chance to explore "off leash" with a trusted canine guide.)
     I also feel she is trainable in other ways. She is definitely an athletic dog, and could be a good running partner. She would be fine with kids over three, though she would need to control the licks or she might drown a small child! (JK) She did not have an accident in my house nor in my truck. There was no attempt to destroy anything, but Mandy certainly has an explorer gene! (In the house and on the trail). She accepted the chew bone I gave her before we parted very gently, and her darling eyes sent me a shot of gratitude. "No girl", I said...."thank YOU."

Fuji has been adopted!!

Fuji has been given a new home of her own!! Good hiking beautiful girl!