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Old 01-13-2022, 08:11 PM   #1
rbi99
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My best hiking companion is my dog

I absolutely get more joy out of my near daily excursions with my 9 year old Maggie (mixed breed), then just about anything else I do. In our 7 years together now we have hiked upwards of 5000 miles on local trails, backpacking and climbing well over a dozen mountains between NY and NH. What makes our relationship so tight is the fact that both of us want to hike together. She has never just gone off on her own and left me behind. Even on trails that we have hiked dozens and dozens of times together, she will constantly take a peak back to make sure I am there. Even today, after all our hikes, when I start to put on my socks and let her know it's time, she starts jumping for joy and running around like a kid in a candy store!!! Several times during every hike she will come bounding back down the trail to me just to let me know how much she loves our companionship and hikes. When we come up to people on the trail she doesn't even bother to look up at them unless they are really fussing over her, because her world consists of myself and her, so these people mean little to her.

We have had many easy, casual strolls, and we have had our share of challenges that required both of us to trust in each other. Our recent backpacking trip to Colden Lake is an example. Things didn't go as planned and both of us were exhausted, but she hung in there like a champ and we got through it. Going up and down Saddleback and Basin wasn't the easiest hike/climb we did, but we made it there and back without a problem.

Watching her sit out front of our lean-to, just watching, sniffing the air and listening to the various sounds brings a true sense of joy to my heart. As we lie down together during the long nights, and knowing that she has complete trust in me and feels totally safe being with me, is not that different then the relationship my wife and I have. Large portions of our hikes Maggie is content to just follow behind me, going along at my near snail pace, because again, it's all about the two of us doing our thing together.

Maggie isn't the kind of dog that licks your face, snuggles up close or some of the things other dogs do. If she did I would be absolutely fine with that, but our relationship is so much deeper. Maggie is going on 9 soon and I'm going on 71. The window hasn't closed on us in the least, but I know we have less time left together than we have shared so far. It is up to the two of us to take full advantage of the time we have left together.

We are coming up to the Pharaoh Lake area in April, and I can't wait to spend the four or five nights we have planned together. This time we won't be doing anything strenuous, and even Treadway will be an easy climb compared to the many other mountains we have done together. Getting up, hitting the trail in one direction or another, lakes/ponds to explore.......we're both pumped!!! I'm already starting to think about what we'll do this coming September when we come back for our yearly pre-fall trip.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:09 PM   #2
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Would love to hear others stories regarding their dogs.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:02 AM   #3
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Rocky was a one man Dog and my best friend. He was a 95 pound strong Yellow Lab, my one and only Dog. I never took him to the Mountains with me because he always had a eye for escape and I would have most likely lost him plus out of respect for other campers I didn’t want him to be an annoyance. I would have loved to have him with me on my solo trips but it wasn’t meant to be. He got cancer and died, over 30 years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think of him. I really miss him, and that’s my story…..
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:51 PM   #4
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Sounds like you found the perfect match rbi... not always the case with dogs.


We've had a couple doggos in the past 20 years. First one was a Chihuahua named Burger:



She was kind of a pain, but she was lovable. Portable as well. UL if you will. Which was a good thing because in the ADKs even a moderate erratic was a major challenger for her. She hated kids, and when we had 3 at once, we knew we'd have to find her a new home. We found an older couple that she fell in love with as soon as the lady fed her a box of french fries. I don't know if she's still alive, or are the couple who adopted her. But last we talked to them she was happy and spoiled.

Some overalp with her, we also had another dog, Pete:



He was some kind of lab mix, and he was extremely difficult. Ran away, barked incessantly when outside, destroyed the house (I still haven't repaired all the damage he did). He broke off his leash at about 2 years old and ran directly into traffic. Needless to say, that was his demise.

I really don't have much desire for a dog again, especially where I live now. Maybe once my kids are grown up I'll have some desire for one, and maybe by then I won't be in the 'burbs.
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Old 01-15-2022, 02:04 PM   #5
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A friend of mine's dog, Bear. Yellow lab. He's a great dog, older and kind of limited in how much he can do, but I've done a few trips with him and he was a pleasure.

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Old 01-15-2022, 02:57 PM   #6
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Old two best dogs
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:31 PM   #7
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I have a ton of pictures. The Yellow Lab was Grin, we had four amazing years together before leukemia struck him down after a gallant battle. The black dog is my present companion Maggie. I was so fortunate that we came together shortly after I lost Grin.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:47 PM   #8
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New best dog
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:03 PM   #9
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Best hiking and canoeing partner ever - Sadie the miniature poodle.
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:31 PM   #10
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Our current pooch, Juneau, is a mixed breed rescue dog (we're her third family). The vet says she's mostly Border Collie with some Lab & Retriever mixed in. She's a wonderful hiker and seems to enjoy being a passenger in my solo canoe when I go out. Because she has such a high prey drive, she's always on a long leash when we're on the trail but we've learned how to hike together and she's a wonderful companion. The vast majority of my trips are by myself so it would be a lot more lonely is she wasn't along with me when I venture out in the woods & waters of NYS.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 01-17-2022, 09:23 AM   #11
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Since very few of my friends have ever backpacked, they are always asking me how can I go out into the woods and stay out there at night when I am by myself. They think it's scary and dangerous. I give my same answer every time, "I'm not alone, my dog(s) is/are with me".
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Old 01-17-2022, 10:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rbi99 View Post
Since very few of my friends have ever backpacked, they are always asking me how can I go out into the woods and stay out there at night when I am by myself. They think it's scary and dangerous. I give my same answer every time, "I'm not alone, my dog(s) is/are with me".
People ask me that question too. Since I don't own a dog I have to rely on my nefandous alter ego, who is of course always with me, and so far we have been fine.
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:52 PM   #13
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nefandous
Not gonna lie, I had to look it up.
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:26 PM   #14
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I have a ~1950 copy of the Oxford Universal Dictionary that I bought from a used book store for 31 cents back in 2006 or so, and I found nefandous in there. It seems to me to be sadly underutilized these days, so I drop it in now and then when appropriate. Extraforaneous is another neglected word that could be used to describe many things that are discussed on this forum, but sadly isn't very often.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:12 PM   #15
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On top of Hopkins last year.
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:24 PM   #16
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She'll hike as far as we will. But sleep in a lean-to? I'm not hauling her pillows, not even the extraforaneous ones in the shed.
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:52 PM   #17
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Here's my little one just prior to leaving Art Devlin's to start our backpacking trip up the herd path to Grace. After setting up camp, the next day just prior to climbing Grace, my Maggie was already on the trail ready to rock-n-roll, but my little Isolde had other ideas!!! Like a champ though, she beat me to the top. She's since lost her hearing, and though while she is in great physical shape, especially for being 14, I can no longer take her backpacking due to the hearing loss. If I did, I would still have to pull her off the sleeping bag!!!
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:00 PM   #18
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No way I was carrying that dang dog too!

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Old 01-17-2022, 09:20 PM   #19
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New best dog
So this is what a dog's face looks like after eating an entire black bear!!!
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Old 01-21-2022, 03:40 PM   #20
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Here is Darla, now 8. She runs and hikes with us and never takes off on her own. She is bit of a chicken. Her cousin, Shea, also a yellow from the same breeder up in Victor never wandered to far. I think it is because we didn't get upstate to p/u either until the rest of the liter had been gone for 5-7days so they feared being alone? We had to put Shea down at 5 because of Lymes nephritis. Miserable ticks and in-turn horrible disease.

Anyway we don't overnight, but run, swim and when upstate day hike with her - Hudson Gorge, Peaked Pond, Moxham, Hour Pond, Goodnow etc. I avoid taking her on my hikes into streams, I get one cast in before she is in the pool looking for sticks.

After we put Shea down one of my boys said to me "a dog has only one fault - it doesn't live forever."

Bob

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