Rescue Mutts and Colorado Trail
Anyone can own a pedigreed dog. Anyone can own a four-legged, toothed dog.
A mutt? A rescue? A physically-challenged rescue mutt?
Have a three-legged, toothless rescue female mutt and her companion, a four-legged, male, rescue, Thad. Together they make the most awesome trail companions. Ever.
The best thing about dogs is their ability to be in the moment. Dogs with problems seem to benefit from being of service and respecting you as pack leader. Good discipline! Great for dog(s); good for you!
Starting with a good-fitting pack and light, balanced weights, I trained both dogs to hike. I got the dogs bright-colored packs from a company specializing in dog packs. I started slow, increasing weight and mileage by the week. I made it a happy experience for them, offering many treats.
Both dogs are leashed, with the handle of the leash looped to my pack’s hip belt. They are NEVER allowed off-leash. Both dogs have a small light on their pack, and depending on the ground and temperature, wear booties on their paws.
They don’t carry much weight. I carry their water, food, and first aid; they carry their poop bags, inclement weather gear, and extra leashes; the pack’s pockets are balanced with water bottles. Both dogs had to walk on my left, ignore my poles, and be fit and understand how to get in and out of cars.
Skeptical at first, I discovered how much dogs benefit, even flourish, from hiking. Bonus: they are happy and NEVER complain!
Check if your Trail allows dogs. Consider taking your furry, well vaccinated, pal for a section hike. Train first. Take your time. Offer tasty treats frequently!
It’s a lot of work and extra weight. But, it’s a great way to bond with your dog and enjoy their companionship.
Tripod on the Colorado Trail
I took my “damaged” three-legged dog on the west to east Colorado Trail (I named her “Tripod”—a three-legged stool—get it?) two years ago. She was the best companion, ignored my odiousness, slept on my chest at night, hissed away varmints, did not talk, enjoyed exotic smells, and did better on three legs than I did on two!
If my small three-legged toothless mutt can hike, you can train yours too. Take your time. They LOVE it!
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