BLUE, The Master Hiker

BLUE, The Master Hiker

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.


  1. Donna, she sounds amazing. May have to take a look when my next foster finds his forever home. She reminds me a lot of Gulliver. He seems content to hang out, doesn't need a lot of commotion. He, too, has a sadness in his eyes but when he plays with my dog, it brings joy to MY heart.

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  3. What a great program! I love seeing the dogs close and personal.