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Camping Canines

>> Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's amazing how our dogs turn into different creatures in the woods, especially Phoebe.  She's the most campingest dog ever.  She doesn't need a leash on our site as she doesn't stray far and doesn't chase wildlife (well, okay, other than the insanely irritating red squirrel who was hurling pine cones and yelling at us for days, and with whom she finally lost her patience and chased up a tree).  She loves sleeping with her pack in the tent.  And each morning, she would greet the day by sitting for about a half hour in a spot of sunshine, staring out over the beauty of the bay.  She'd just sit there and stare, and wouldn't move a muscle.  It made me wonder desperately what she was thinking.

Phoebe could entertain herself endlessly in the woods.  She'd play with her squeaky ball for a while, then play with Simon for a while.  Then she'd wander down to the water's edge and watch the tide come in, or poke around in the soft mud and seaweed whuffling for who knows what.

And hiking!  Lordie, how she loves hiking.  She walks roughly 4x the distance Seth and I walk, if she's allowed off leash, as she runs ahead and runs back, then runs ahead and runs back, and repeats it over and over.  If we are walking separately, with one ahead and one staying behind with the aging Basset hound, she easily follows her nose to the leader, never taking the wrong track.  She's truly a natural hiker.

I swear, my little mutt just exudes pure radiant joy in the woods.  Makes me feel bad that I don't take her camping more often.

Simon, as you can see, hates camping too.  Though being a hound, he stays leashed every moment, because he'd follow his nose who knows where and never be seen again.  We set him up with a nice run, though, and he'd whuffle about and occasionally take a dirt/dog bed bath.

The poor stumpy booger is getting older.  He's only 7, but our vet says he's officially a senior citizen and it shows.  After a day of very mild hiking he'd be achy and sore and need a baby aspirin to go to sleep.  Poor old man and his spine burs.  He likes camping primarily for naps in the sun, and the ready availability of laps.

He's too neurotic to stay at home by himself without his Phoebe for any length of time, and we can't deprive her of hikes.  Here are the two tuckered out friends after a walk on the beach:

We are contemplating how to train him to ride in one of the Duluth packs, so we don't have to stop hiking with him.  Here follows Duluth pack experiment:

Well, he was content in there, but man, is he awkward to carry like that!  Maybe we shall have to experiment with him, and see if he'd go for a kid's back carrier of some kind.  It should be hilarious and ridiculous, if we can make it work.

Anyway, we all had a great time on our camping adventure, and as an added bonus, the Bean appears to finally be over her car sickness issues, which is a very welcome relief.

Speaking of Beans, (as in, "full of"), Phoebe drives me crazy with her ultra high energy and her insistent need to know what I'm doing at EVERY SINGLE MOMENT when I'm home.  But then, after a stint in the woods, I don't mind her nosy energy - I know that she, like me, is more at home surrounded by trees and water and bugs and sky, and just bides her time until she can be there again.


Reneé Leigh Stephenson August 31, 2013 at 9:54 AM  

i love this. phoebe reminds me of our crosbi so much! when she was younger she would also run ahead and back endlessly if let off leash. now she's 8 and a bit slower. that being said, she summited skylight with us a few weeks back bringing her to 22 high peaks! once a hiking dog, always a hiking dog :)

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