We took a quick trip up to Boulder last weekend for a hike on one of the prettiest days we've had yet this year. Most of the area allows dogs off-leash that are under voice/sight control, so Sawyer took up his spot about 2 feet behind me (or right in front of me so I'd trip) and away we went. I'm really glad I had spent 1 1/2 hours bathing and blowing him out the day before and got rid of the last of his undercoat, because it was rather warm once we got going. Fluffy!Dog had turned into something of a SlightyFat!Dog over the last couple of months (thanks to some health issues on my part, combined with miscalculating his food a bit) and wasn't terribly happy with the sustained pace and insistent climbing after a bit. I've got a penchant for clambering around boulders and such and silly dog has to always try and find a way up with me, which resulted in some very sore paws by the time we hit the summit.
All of these were taken with my iPhone, so there's nothing spectacular about the photography itself.
I have a penchant for clambering around large boulders at rest breaks instead of actual resting. Sawyer, being the worried old nursemaid that he really is, tends to pace around at the bottom, whining profusely and trying to attempt to get up on the rock with me. He's getting better at doing that too, as seen here.
Although this day was a bit different; by the second break-for-climbing, we got this instead of the usual lifeguarding:
"You really think I'm moving from this spot?"
Eventually he did move, mostly because we got back on the trail and started walking away. He can't be more than 5 feet away from me, pretty much ever.
Looking out over Boulder
The halfway point.
"So tired my legs fell off."
"Ok fine, I still have a couple left."
Eventually, after going over hill and dale, we hit our summit, about 9600+ feet up. Quite a view, eh?
Can you spot the Aussie?
He found a bit of shade and dug himself a little cool hole and hung out there while the stupid humans guzzled some water, took in the scenery and got a tan in the process. We could see some rain moving in and in the mountains, weather moves fast and it's not the brightest of ideas to get caught out in the open. So we turned and started head back but Mr. SoreFeet eventually started falling further and further behind on the hike back down, which is unusual for him. I checked his pads for burrs or pine needles and realized they were just hot and sore. He was flat out tired and pretty much shooting me death glares. Not a whole lot we could do at that point, so we ended up with this idea:
Being in the world's best shape myself, I made it about 200 feet before the path took a steep incline and I couldn't quite manage it with a load that weighs half as much as I do, so I had to set him down, or at least attempted to. Sawyer was so happy at being carried that he refused to put his feet down and ended up falling on his face. After that, he decided walking was ok as long as we set a very slow pace. Luckily we hit upon one of the switchback parking lots within 5 minutes, so I poured him another Frisbee full of water and had him lay down in the shade while my friend ran (literally) back down the mountain to where we'd parked the car and drove up to collect us.
"Wherever he lands, there shall he be buried."
While we were waiting, Sawyer garnered a bunch of attention and sympathy from other hikers. He's so abused. Even the park ranger didn't say a word about him being off-leash in a posted "on-leash" area, because he obviously wasn't moving any time soon.
"Yes, so abused. Please send help. And new feetses."
I figured with all the exercise and drama queening, he'd be DeadDog that night and LimpyDog the next day...nope. He took a long nap and was back to play bowing and pouncing on his tennis ball after dinner.
And now, of course, is begging to go back.