Sunday, June 29, 2008

Desert Doggie

Scout drinking out of the CamelBak In the "Scout comes home" post from a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Nan and I had taken Scout for his first hike in the desert, but there weren't any photos because we had forgotten to take the camera.

This morning we remembered. Nan was able to snap a few good ones as we hiked in the Tabeguache area near our home.

Scout is now a day shy of nine weeks old, and he can already do most of the Kurt's Lane/Lemon Squeezer loop, a distance of about 3.5 miles. The key is to get there early, around 7:00-7:30, when it's still cool enough and to provide him with frequent drinks of cold water out of the CamelBak.

Scout following me up the trailOn this morning's hike, Scout went around me a few times to take a short lead. He'll stay out front until he gets confused about which way the trail goes, and then drop back behind me. In this way, he will learn to follow a trail and take the lead most of the time, just as Charlie did.

The trails have been busy lately, with everyone trying to get in their hikes, bikes or runs before the temperatures rise into the high 90s and low 100s. All the traffic has helped with Scout's socialization. He eagerly runs to meet every person and dog we encounter. This morning he even got to meet a couple of horses.

Scout riding in his slingScout lets us know when he's tired or overheated by lying down in a shady spot. That's our cue to put him in his sling for a rest. He enjoys the ride for a while and then gets fidgety to be walking on his own again. By the time he's too big for the sling, he'll be a strong, reliable hiking companion and we'll be able to hike everywhere together.

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