When my Dad and I hiked Santanoni and Panther at the end of the summer, he brought his dog Daisy along, and it was so much fun to see her unbridled enthusiasm in the woods. At that time, Frankie was a bit afraid of her. She was still a puppy and jumped up on people a lot, and Frankie is of low enough stature to get feet in face. Unfortunately, even very friendly claws can be a bit off putting when scrabbling energetically about the face. Time has passed, and Daisy got her toenails clipped and learned to jump up less. Along the way, Frankie conquered his fear, and the two of them are great friends now. I thought it would be fun to get them out on a hike together so he could see the crazy dog in the woods.
We decided on Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area, because it is near my Dad's house and dogs are permitted off leash. He walks Daisy there pretty regularly. Plus it's near Erin's house, too, which made it easy for her and Alden to join us, as well. What fun! My Dad suggested we meet at the parking area on Sixty Road, and once there, Frankie insisted we walk what I will always consider the "turtle hike" route (at least until we have some more remarkable encounter there, which seems unlikely). This is one of our more frequented trails at Three Rivers, and Frankie is a creature of routine; I need to be careful we don't get stuck. Maybe if we return with Daisy in warmer weather we can convince Frankie to explore the trail across the road, as I gather there is a pond that way she likes to swim in.
Anyway, it was a quick hike today. A mile in, there is a weir at the outlet of the pond, and the water outflow generally makes the trail impassible beyond that point. With Frankie, we'll often stop there so he can have a snack, but that didn't happen today. Erin and my Dad were more dressed for walking than sitting, and it was quite windy along the pond. Plus, Daisy can't stay away from water, and ended up going in over her head. My Dad coaxed her out pretty quickly, and said that she'd be OK, but we didn't want to loiter too long with her soaking wet, so headed back. Frankie generally does better on hikes when he can rest and eat, so we eventually found a log he could sit on briefly, then motored the rest of the way back.
All in all, getting Frankie and Daisy out hiking together was a success. Aside from the foolish unplanned dunking, which was really not that big a deal because all her running around generates ample body heat, sticks were the only slight issue. See, both Frankie and Daisy love sticks. It's not uncommon for Frankie to find a special stick (or two or three) that is declared a treasure and stuffed in my car at the trailhead. And like many dogs, Daisy will happily play fetch for as long as anyone has the will and the patience. There were a few incidents today where she tore by and snatched the stick out of Frankie's hand, running off with it. Of course, she just wanted to play, but Frankie was not amused. To keep the peace, I ran interference, walking next to Frankie with decoy sticks, so that when Daisy came running our way looking for sticks, I could sacrifice one that hadn't been declared a treasure. The things I do to get in the woods...
|Alden was cozy inside Erin's coats|
|Green Pond through the trees|
|Bruce coaxing Daisy out of the water... we did NOT plan on her swimming!|
|Frankie with some treasure sticks|
|fan clubmoss (Diphasiastrum digitatum) and running clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum)|
|little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)|
|Lots of ice out there|
|Alden is 10 months old now|
|I just love how Alden looks at his Grandpa!|