That Dog Don’t Hike

Limited clearance

Limited clearance

I went hiking with friends recently. On a nice day, on a holiday weekend, on a popular mountain trail, you can expect to pass hundreds of people grunting and groaning in the great outdoors. The scenery, though spectacular, is hardly a wilderness experience.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the number of dogs that were hiking as well. It was a veritable ‘Best in Show’ in the middle of the west coast rainforest. Many of these dogs were not what I’d call athletic breeds. There was not a single strand of dna in some of these canines that would make them instinctively want to hike. What were they doing there?

Well, they were accompanying their masters, or course. A dog will do anything if you give it a cookie. It’s a simple dynamic.

As the number of condominiums blossoms and the population ages you find that the popularity of the smaller breeds is burgeoning. I’m sure these creatures make fine companions but honestly, folks, you shouldn’t be dragging them along over terrain that makes the human calf muscle scream.

At times the topography was straight up and then straight down

I saw a Corgi on the trail. Though the original breed was once used to herd cattle (or , as Welsh folklore would have it, as a preferred mount for woodland fairies) this is a dog that is better suited to grabbing a scrap a pheasant that has plummeted to the palace floor beneath the dining room table. A Corgi has limited clearance. Corgis are not designed to negotiate the gnarled roots of a mighty Douglas fir. The Corgi looked miserable, as if it were thinking ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ And, I suppose, in the same deeply panted breath, ‘There better be a cookie at the end of this’.

I saw a Bichon Frise on the trail as well. There was more than one Chihuahua. The only advantage to hiking with a Chihuahua is that when it finally collapses under a small fern you can pick it up and drop it in your backpack and barely feel the weight.

Bald eagles must love this trend of condo dogs out of their element. Two eagles sit in the upper most branches, nudge each other and have a conversation.

‘I can’t eat those Pekinese. They give me gas. But I’ll share that Yorkie down there, if you’re feeling peckish.’


9 Responses to “That Dog Don’t Hike”

  1. lol………..funny post Dave. My two rough collies are greatly outnumbered here in Leamington, Ontario by the smaller breeds. I have always loved big dogs. Yes, there is lots of hair and they hog the sofas but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suppose when we’re too old to live in this house we’ll move into a condo and get a little doggie. Maybe a miniature collie. Or maybe a cat. Or better yet, a bird! take care, Gail:)

  2. Hello, Dave: On the run using another computer and I read your post quickly. Dogs are all around us and I believe they are “in”. I too may write a dog story. All good fun. Best wishes. Lynne

  3. Good Morning Dave, we went for a hike with the local resident bird expert at Sargeant’s Bay – we all walked around a big pile of dog poop that someone did not have the courtesy of picking up – we were all saying “ewww” as we past it and then the local lady at the front came back, picked up the mess with her hands and then tossed it under a fern, off the trail – while I admire her gumption, I did not shake her hand at the end of the hike – the birds were lovely btw, I saw a chestnut-backed chickadee and we heard a Virginia Rail – both were “first” for me – if you’re not a birder, you may change your mind after watching The Big Year with Steve Martin, partially filmed in Gibson’s – Steve Martin even dances like King Tut in that film, it’s one of my favourite flicks – I have to see that fellow play the banjo live some day, that’s on the “to do list”, can’t wait! – we are going to Poplar Hill Park for a pork BBQ this evening, ever been there? – best wishes for a great day Dave!

    • Thanks Karen. I ,personally, would not pick up a pile of dog poop even if I was at gunpoint. But that’s just me. As for birders..and Gibsons…I once did a television story about a hummingbird from Mexico that somehow ended up in a backyard in Gibsons. By the time the cameraman and I got up there it was like attending a Hollywood premiere. There must have been a dozen paparazzi pointing their lenses at the little guy!

  4. LOL so true, I don’t have a dog, but it I did I would leave him at home in the air conditioning, or better yet… stay home with him and eat cookies!

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