Day 323: Zoey's first hike

Friday, April 08, 2011

“Bulldogs are adorable, with faces like toads that have been sat on.”

~ Unknown

Meet Zoey. She is one of our French Bulldogs. Zozo will be 2 at the end of May and loves people to a fault – most people. What she does not love is other dogs. As an adorable puppy she frolicked all over the local dog park with her little sister Abby. Life was grand. Then something happened and they lost their manners with other dogs. No more dog parks unfortunately.

Frenchies are not high energy dogs, so we can get by with gentle walks in the neighborhood. Due to their facial structure, they overheat easily and cannot exert much.

Since it was cold again last night, and we wanted to keep up with our new outdoor habit, we decided to take Zozo along on the short neighborhood trail. It was not very busy last time and there were no other dogs to scuffle with.

The other nice thing about this trail is that it is contained on either side by a fence, retaining wall, or tall weeds. This would give the little pudgeface a chance to sniff and explore yet not fall off an edge or wander too far. We had her on a 6ft lead, which really was not enough. Next time we will bring the 15ft lead to give her more range in the more open parts.

Honey’s back was bothering her, and Zoey was pulling excitedly, so we took turns with her. When it was my turn, usually at the base of the little hills, I took her for a run. She loved it. I was not so fond of her darting back and forth in front of me, but she was enjoying her new speed.

We did this off and on for the mile to the trail end. By that point little missy was not pulling as much. Hmmm, could she be getting tired?

Up the larger of the hills, I was not only ahead of speedy gonzoey, but was pulling her behind me! How is it a dog, a young dog, pooped out before me? Figuring it was time to give her a break, honey took the leash again while I ran on ahead. This was good for the dog since she had to get used to not being with me and in the lead of us. She was also too pooped to pull at that point, so she had to walk with honey until they caught up with me.

For me the run ahead was great, because I got both uphill and the scary downhill (tumbling and breaking a hip is a freaky thought!). I was not panting or struggling as the wind passed my cold ears. The really exciting part is that I could have gone on. Next time I will go farther, but I did not want to get too far ahead of honey and the pup.

No hike tomorrow since the rain is supposed to come in. I am getting used to this nature thing and muddy shoes, but running in the rain is still a coming attraction…


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