BLUE, The Master Hiker

BLUE, The Master Hiker

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Castlewood Park Trail--River Scene 3+miles (mild-mod)

A great place to hike in West County!

Castlewood Park
River Scene Trail
...a little over three miles of outdoor beauty

Heading up onto the bluffs

Callie on the EDGE!
Boys on the bluffs
Meramec River
Heading down the many steps to the river's edge
The tunnel
Well, you KNOWwhat THIS IS!
The lower part of the trail
Back up the steps
And home

Take a Stray Rescue Dog to Castlewood Park for a hike-and enjoy nature together :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Danny on a hike

(This is my first try at video-I'm a obvious amateur!
Hopefully the future ones will improve with practice!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Real Danny



You know that young neighbor guy you think of when you need help moving that heavy china cabinet, or  jumpstart the truck in January? The reliable, kind and gentle soul everyone is fond of? Well, turn that genuine-style guy into a dog and you have Danny!
I actually discovered him in his "apartment" one afternoon at the Pine SR shelter--he was playing with his roomate--well, he was tolerating her anyway. She is quite the spitfire, and Danny seemed to know how to keep her happy and at the same time give her boundaries, like a mature older brother. I inquired about hiking with him, and Tara agreed, Danny and I would work well together on the trail. a little backgound I learned--he was one of the dogs rescued from the Gasconade pound. He is about a year old.
So anyway, this weekend I did just that-grabbed him up for a trip outdoors! He was so well-behaved in the truck (such a pleasant ride home!) and courteous at the house. He was not intimidated by any of my dogs, and wasn't uncomfortable in any way.
Not too bold, not at all forceful. Just plain good!

Even the NOSY heelers didn't rile him
He quietly ate his breakfast at the table and said grace at the same time

Danny was polite, waiting patiently to climb into the truck camper; I gave him the "OK", and we were off. He had no trouble catching on at the trail. Blue and Callie led bushwhack-style and even though they often moved ahead, Danny in his easy going way would stop and relish the wonderful scents and good human company. His maturity came through as he observed the other dogs, looking for signals from me, and learning quickly what verbal queues we used to communicate. Smart boy. And, like all happy dogs, Danny took the time to flip over and enjoy a nice scratchin from the leafy earth. He was the PERFECT hiking dog. As we left, I looked at him --behaving so sweetly waiting to get back into the truck--and I thought--NO WAY! We are NOT going back downtown just yet!


So full of happiness  :o)

So off we went to my son's SOCCER GAME!
Hey kids, guess what? DANNY LOVES SOCCER GAMES! He is a great spectator--and quite the social dude! Everyone wanted to meet him! He had this magnetic personality--tail wagging just so....genuine eye contact... soft gentle approach...he even found time to watch some of the game!
And it was at this game that he met a new friend. I knew Danny liked female dogs (that was clear at home with my Callie!) but he fell for a little human friend of mine too.

I know what you are thinking....awwwwwwwwwwwh!
Danny's attentive face when he laid eyes on a new 7-year old buddy
This sweet young lady was all about making friends with Danny! They hung out through much of the game, entertaining each other. She would talk to him, and I believe he understood everything she said! He clearly is a dog that belongs in a family. At the end of the game,  he seemed sad to see her leave, wishing he could have someone like her to love every day. (I have tears in my eyes right now.)
(BTW, I did find out that Danny develops such a close attachment to his human that he does have some anxiety with separation--he had a foster parent who was not home enough to keep him comfortable. I am wondering if a family with another friendly dog, and a human home more of the day would be better for him. He is a loyal type, needing to have his family around to watch over them. Danny is part shepard, and therefore he has a job to do!)

He could have spent the rest of his life sitting at DeSmet with his friend

Yep, Danny really woulld have stayed at the high school if he had known what was next! We headed back to the house for time! He is such a regular guy, though, that the
 finer life of looking good is not high on the list of priorities!
(He doesn't need to worry too much about his looks, does he?)
Despite the sudsy bath (with a hint of pomegranate scent),
he was truly a gentleman--standing still while he was lathered and scrubbed. His fur is lovely--and I never found a hair in the truck, house or on the towel!
It's a rare dog that does not shed, no?

humility at best

Blue was certainly hoping he wasn't going to be next...I am curious what the conversation was between them :)
 After the long day Danny had, I thought he would love to chill a bit on the deck with a nice fresh bone. He stood there and looked at it but didn't know what to make of it. Blue laid down next to him and Danny watched him work on a similar piece of femur (cow leg bone). With me resting next to him, he succumbed to fatigue, laid down and began chewing off some of that tasty marrow. He sure has fine teeth! White as can be! And by the way,
he NEVER showed any bone aggression.

He took a nice little nap on the long drive back to Pine. Rode in the back seat quietly and again without incident. He was so wonderful to have as a companion! I miss him already.
If you, or someone you know is looking for a mix of fine breeds such as those in Danny (lab and shepard)--a dog with known devotion to his human companion, plenty of intelligence, cooperation and willingness to please--this guy is the answer.
Fine, fine boy, DANNY

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An October Day of Romance
Lulu and Hugo

     Lulu and Hugo.....what an adorable twosome! When I talked with Tara at SR on Pine, she suggested that these two would be fun together for a hike with my friend and new volunteer, Sue. Tara was right! They are just a sweet pair who became roomates after Hugo lost his old roomie ( who was adopted).
     Upon peering into their quarters this past Wednesday morning, I found them lovingly sleeping together on the same cot (even though their apartment has two) and said, "Hey--you guys wanna rise and shine and go hikin?" They were up in a flash! Both easily climbed into the camper and wrestled around, and for the most part, stayed out of trouble. We headed over to Sue's and drove west to hike on a lovely day full of fall colors and soft breezes.

They were ready to go!!
As long as Lulu was in front, all was fine!

Lulu was all business and on some kind of mission!
     Though at first Lulu and Hugo JUST WANTED TO MOVE! They did slow their pace--once we figured out Lulu preferred the front (like a lead horse on a trail ride). Hugo was the sniffer and explorer--but Lulu had a purpose other than checking out her surroundings--she was all business! She enjoyed a rest, but never appeared to need one. When I first met them, it seemed Hugo would be the endurance master--but Lulu proved to have the right stuff as well. She is a bit larger than her boyfriend, and has mothered a litter in the past, but she was a trail queen! Built to pull a plow!

     Lulu generously gave us some affectionate moments--you just had to bend over or reach around her soft head and she was ready to smile and plant a not-too-wet kiss on our cheeks. When she wasn't power hiking, she is quite laid back and gentle. You can bet she was a good mother to her pups :)
     Hugo was Mr. Cordial!  Anyone who passed us was greeted by his happy tail and friendly disposition. He seemed to be a magnet for men, as if he was looking for a big brother to bond with. Hugo would just turn towards any man and with his body say, "OK, here I come fella, let's get to know each other!" He is a quite beautiful boy, built nicely and not too large. His color and markings are stunning! Please check out his SR profile pic on the website--beautiful!

Hugo the Handsome
We took a break for bone chewing time, of course

Artistic bone burying

     So even though Sue and I had these trail masters bagging mile after mile, we were able to coerce them into a break at the picnic table on top of the hill. Some rawhide chews were the motivation. They politely dispersed to opposite ends of the hilltop, as if they had this--understanding--like--'stay away I'm busy'--Lulu was totally adorable as she prepared a lovely hole near an oak tree for bone storage. She delicately worked the soil with her nose and paws til it was perfectly arranged, placing that bit of precious rawhide within. Hugo just wanted to carry his leftovers with him! These two made us giggle so many times with their unique personalities and darling faces!

     Due to time constraints, Lulu and Hugo did not get to visit my home or dogs, except of course for Blue, who comes along on nearly all hikes! They seemed to get along pretty well with each other, especially Hugo--again getting in some male companionship, I guess. Those two hopped back into the truck after having their lunch, and they enjoyed a nice nap on the long drive back to downtown St. Louis. They were even pleasant returning into the building, walking right to their apartment (though Hugo tried to bring a toy from the bin in with him!). It was easier than usual to bring them back, since I had them together, and didn't have to face the "roomie that DIDN'T GET TO COME" :(  I always feel a little twinge of guilt when I cannot explain why they were left behind.
     Ya know, it is hard to walk out of the (wonderful) Pine Street shelter knowing there are so many lovely and affectionate dogs just begging for a REAL human companion. I hope at least ONE of these great canine friends I have made and spent some time getting to know has impressed a reader enough to want to reach out with a warm, caring pair of arms and take one home for good. Just look at their faces and think what YOU, reader, are missing.