Friday, April 24, 2015

The Making of a Trail Dog, First Mountain Bike Ride.

I have had it in my mind that I needed a good trail dog for some time. After much thought I settled upon a cowdog, being a very robust energetic and agile dog I felt one would fit the bill perfectly.
In august after much looking I would happen upon one for free in a local trader paper, the journey would begin.

I would take time to make sure she was well associated with her new home, keeping her mostly in the fenced in yard and working with her agility and commands with a mini obstacle course I erected in the back yard.

I would then start to take her on leashed walks about the town, trying to keep her from following her doggie instincts too much, not allowing her to sniff around or antagonize dogs which were in yards.

I would then being to take her on small hikes where I suspected contacts with other humans and especially humans with their dogs would be absolutely minimal, this worked amazingly well with her sticking close behind me without a leash.

Last night would be the real test, it is one thing to get a dog to follow you and stay close while walking, it is another when you are peddling and they have to trot or lope to keep up. Your attention while peddling is focused more on the trail ahead and not so much on what is around you, giving the dog ample opportunity to sniff around and possibly find some dead animal or feces to roll in!

We would ride on an easy rode into what is called Willow Creek, it is somewhat sandy but overall an easy test with a nice wide mountain rode and mostly fields about. Finding the optimal speed would prove a bit challenging at first and I opted to keep her trotting over lopping so 7-8mph seemed to work fairly well. I really wanted to avoid her exploring in the Ranchers field more out of fear she may find some poison left out for ground squirrels over the minor annoyance of needing a bath after rolling in a fresh Cow patty. The first mile would be challenging, but after that, she stuck with me as a dog should.

The next biggest challenge for me would be to remember she would need to rest frequently as she was not accustomed to this pace.
We would rest at just over 2 miles in to take this fabulous photo.

At three miles in we would stop for a drink in the creek. I have been wondering for some time why there was a small metal shed and a metal pole next to the creek. I would encourage her to go into the water too cool down as well as get a drink. Walking back up the bank ways I would do the man thing and take a leak while I observed what the metal pole could be.
Hmmm, that looks like it has some kind of a sensor on it, I was starting to think it was not so much for the weather but possibly,,,,,yes as my mug peered close I would see the lens. There I was like some kind of a redneck monkey very embarrassed to have peered straight into a modern camera and of course unintentionally exposing myself, uhgg. Internet here I come!

I cannot say much more about this ride behind this, we would ride in another half mile before turning back. We did not see any animals which is surprising as normally in this area Moose and especially deer are very plentiful.

I would again riding back have to remember to rest a couple more times as Sadi was a bit wiped out, happy to have lots of ear scratching and she really seemed to enjoy her time out with me.

The last mile appeared rough for her as her tongue was nearly dragging on the road, and I regretted my choice of a seven mile ride, five would have been far more appropriate for her first outing I thought.
At the car she could not wait to jump in but seemed to still have plenty of energy.

At the house she would bolt straight to her toy, she was not tired, she wanted to play fetch!
I wish I shared her enthusiasm.

I am looking forward to more rides with her, I think she will do quit well as her discipline is classic among that breed, next week as the weather breaks we shall venture even further.

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