|Water break on the Wild Oak Trail, |
5 miles into a 27 mile day hike.
But even though this dog lives to hike with me, I don't always take her. If hiking with a group, I first check to see if anyone has any objections to having a dog along. People could have a fear of dogs, or they might feel that their ability to view wildlife along the trail is compromised by a dog. Or possibly the hike requires a car shuttle, and the driver doesn't want the dog in the car. Some groups simply do not allow dogs because they are afraid that everyone will suddenly want to bring their dog.
|Do you really want to bring a dog up Old Rag?|
Last year there was a widely distributed news account of a 100+ pound German Shepard that was rescued off of a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado, a week after her owner had left her for dead. The account of this rescue is amazing. The owner was eventually located, claimed that he couldn't bring the dog back, but now that it had been rescued, he wanted his dog again. Video. He was charged with animal cruelty and, as a part of the plea bargain, gave the dog up to one of the rescuers for adoption. The dog is doing great now, and the rescuers have started a search and rescue group for dogs in the Rocky Mountains. They have a Facebook page with information and current photos of the dog.
|Crossing Ramsey's Draft in Ramsey's Draft Wilderness.|
The American Hiking Society has come up with a "10 Essentials" list for hiking with dogs. The list is as follows:
I have often thought about booties for longer hikes, as I once had a dog that I had to carry for the last couple of miles over Shenandoah National Park's Austin Mountain Trail (if you have hiked this trail, you know where I mean!) after her paws were rubbed raw on a hike.
I also struggle with whether to buy some kind of coat for the dog. No dog I have owned ever had a coat, but this dog's fur is pretty short, so I imagine it must get cold on some of our winter hikes.
Is there anything else I should consider? Let me know in the comments section below!
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