Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you. ~ Aaron Douglas Trimble
The dogs days of summer have arrived.
The usual gorgeous summer weather in my part of the world has been replaced by miserable, sweltering heat that shows no sign of letting up. Luka has been monopolizing the AC unit.
To beat the heat we have to take our walks in the very late evening and go hiking in the very early morning. I’m not a morning person and have to force myself to get out of the bed. Luka is always ready to go.
I always start our weekend adventures with a long hike.
I love how the dogs always take off together.
The beginning of each hike always includes a lot of running.
Luka loves to wander and explore. He often wanders down the wrong trail and then when he realizes it he runs to catch up.
The highlight of each hike, especially when it’s so hot, is the water.
To encourage the dogs to swim, I toss treats in the water.
Here’s a video of Sadie swimming for treats.
Luka has started swimming more often (he used to just wade in the water).
This leads to his drowned rat look.
When we arrive home after our weekend adventure the order of the day is always napping.
Milo likes to join them.
Finally, I walked out the door for work the other morning and saw this: the moon setting at sunrise.
Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James
Scenes from a long weekend.
Leading the way.
Sharing the load.
Fun in the sun.
Stubborn (he would not look at the camera).
Very tired (two hikes in two days will do that to a girl).
Ready for the ride home.
Smart kitty (sleeping in front of AC unit).
Snoring up a storm.
Summer has definitely arrived in my neck of the woods. The dogs and I headed out very early yesterday morning so we could hike before the heat set in.
We missed a couple of walks last week so running was the main activity.
The heat quickly arrived so we took a couple of breaks along the trail.
Our breaks allowed me to photograph the gorgeous day.
Some of the cactus (cacti?) were blooming.
The reservoir was a welcome relief from the hot weather.
We missed a couple of our walks last week because I was busy purchasing a new (used) car. For the past eight years I’ve driven a Saturn sedan. I loved that car and it was always solid as a rock (nothing other than routine maintenance). However in the past few months it started having major issues. Considering the car had 172,000 miles on it I had to face reality and get something different.
As much as I loved that car, it was not good for hauling dogs. The tiny back seat meant that Sadie and Luka (and every other dog I’ve owned) had to contort themselves whenever we went for a ride. As I started looking for a new vehicle my main consideration (beyond the obvious price, mileage and safety) was to get something that was more comfortable for the dogs. (I think picking out a car based on canine comfort officially qualifies me for the Crazy Dog Lady Club.)
We took the new car hiking this weekend. On the way home I turned around at a stoplight and saw this:
I think they like it.
Remember when this used to be a knitting blog?
Let’s revisit those days.
A couple of months ago a friend gifted me with a sock blank. I broke out the Kool-Aid and created this.
The blank became these socks.
I love them!
Full details are on the socks’ Ravelry page.
Since I am a crazy dog lady, I took portraits of the dogs with the leftover yarn.
Sadie shared a zen moment with the yarn.
Luka was supervising the photo shoot.
After Sadie serenely posed with the yarn she enjoyed one of her favorite past times: rolling around on her back. Sadly, my yard is mostly dirt so she got a bit messy.
Luka is much too dignified to engage in such behavior.
The dogs and I have gone hiking a couple of times since my last post. These hikes are the highlights of the week.
The dogs always spend the first hour or so running off their pent up energy.
We usually take a break or two on our way to the reservoir.
The dogs know when we turn on the trail that leads to the water and they take off running.
By the time I arrive they’ve already jumped in.
Luka isn’t fond of the drowned rat look and always like to shake when he’s standing right next to me.
Every hiking trip ends the same way: with the dogs sound asleep on the way home.
The napping continues once we arrive home.
Milo fears his standing in the Sleeping Olympics may be in jeopardy so he practices harder.
Finally, the smoke from the Arizona wildfire hung over this area for several days last week. It was very annoying during the day (a thick haze and smell of smoke in the air) but the sunsets were spectacular.
The recent weather trend around here has been so-so weather during the week followed by spectacular weather on the weekend. This weekend was no exception.
It was a perfect day to hit the trail.
It wasn’t too hot so the main activity of the day was running.
By the time we arrived at our destination the dogs were ready to jump in and cool off.
While the dogs splashed and played I kicked back and enjoyed the view.
It was pretty much a perfect day.
Our weekend fun was not confined to Saturday, however. On Sunday the dogs had a play date with my friend’s son. My friend’s son loves dogs, but they don’t have a dog so Sadie and Luka were happy to spend the day at their house. I didn’t think to snap any pictures except for this one. It was too adorable to pass up (apologies for the shoddy quality…I took it with my phone).
My friend’s son is learning about different animals. When we first arrived at their house he spotted Sadie and said “doggy!”. Then he toddled over to Luka, started petting him and said “bear!”. It took some explaining, but he was soon calling Luka “doggy!”, too.
Finally, I am enjoying the day off of work, but realize it came at a horrible cost. Thank you.
My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can. ~ Cary Grant
The weather was shaky again this past week and we missed two of our walks. Saturday made up for it, though.
It was perfect hiking weather.
We missed our Friday night walk so on Saturday morning the dogs were ready to go.
They took off together
and then ran back to get me.
My initial goal of the hike was for the dogs to burn off some energy.
Finally, mission accomplished.
As we made our way through the woods Luka spotted something and took off running. He was out of my sight and didn’t seem to respond to my initial call for him to return. Just when I thought he’d lost his off leash privileges he appeared and was running as fast as he could.
Finally, we reached our ultimate destination.
The reservoir was not the end of the fun. We hiked a lot more after we left there.
Luka gave me his best model pose.
Sadie thinks posing is silly. Why pose when you can run?
Finally, my favorite picture of the day. I titled it “Happiness”.
The weather cooperated this weekend so we hit our favorite hiking spot again. The weather canceled a couple of our walks during the week so the dogs were in the mood to run.
At one point Sadie wandered off the trail and fell behind. I figured this was the perfect time to get a great shot of her running to catch up. She had a surprise for me, though.
She brought me a dead bird. Yuck!! (She did drop it as soon as I told her to drop it.)
Luka proved that last week’s behavior was not a fluke. He ran ahead on the trail but always waited for me to catch up.
When I stopped walking he came back to get me.
This week I noticed that Sadie waited for me whenever there was a trail junction.
Luka just picked a trail and ran ahead (and was often wrong about which way we were going), but Sadie waited for me to lead the way.
Once I showed the way the dogs went ahead of me.
As always, the highlight of the day was the water.
Despite the wonky weather (fog to sun to clouds back to sun back to clouds) it was another spectacular day (can you spot Luka in this picture?).
Finally, I don’t know when the Sleeping Olympics begin but the training around here is intense.
This weekend marks six months since I fell while hiking and sprained the living hell out of my ankle. I’ve spent the past six months diligently working to first heal and then strengthen my ankle. The first couple of months were rough, but I knew that if I pushed through I would be ready when the 2011 hiking season arrived.
All of the hard work was worth it.
Yesterday the dogs and I hit the trail for our first hike of the year.
A notable difference from last year: Luka is off leash on the trail.
I’ve had him for over a year now. He’s become very obedient and seems to have bonded closely to me. I had a feeling he could handle being off leash and I was right. He always came back when I called and he never got too far away from me.
Best of all: he and Sadie had a fantastic time exploring together. (I love the big smile on her face in this picture.)
They ran around so much that they needed to rest just 30 minutes into the hike.
Then they had to rest again just a short time later.
Finally, we reached our destination (where Luka jumped right in and started swimming).
Sadie swam, too.
They also played together.
Luka explored the rocks.
When it was snack time the dogs kept a close eye on my bag of carrots. (They both love carrots.)
It was a lovely day.
Finally, Milo continues training for the Sleep Olympics.