I worried that the poor little thing, having come such a long way with us, would backslide in the absence of focused attention and training, and I wanted to get her back on track as soon as possible.
I am happy to report that although the first day or two back, she did seem to have lost a bit of her frustration tolerance and gone back to being a feisty little demon--there was more of that spunky jumping around, lunging, and mouthing when she didn't get what she wanted, and it took a bit longer for her to calm down--she appears to have gotten back into her calmer, rapidly adjusting groove after just a few days.
What better way to re-cement the bond than to go for a hike together. On Florian's suggestion we went to Sugarloaf Mountain, a gorgeous, steep hike on the way to Frederick, MD that we haven't done in a couple of years.
We love it because of the huge rocks that remind us of Colorado, the steps that have been carved into the rocks in especially steep parts, and the stunning views. I can remember a hike some years ago in the spring, when it was covered with mountain laurel in bloom.
This time, there was snow and ice, but still the same gorgeous rocks and views.
I just love a sunny day in winter, especially in as beautiful a place as this.
So mood-elevating to be outside in that much sun, and to take in stunning views and sit on the warming rocks.
With the two of us, handing all the dogs was not too bad--although certain parts were certainly challenging.
Who knows how much snow, ice, or steep rocky terrain Star has ever encountered. Maybe it was all completely new to her.
That's part of what made it fun. With her new Halti harness--which attaches to her collar so she can't slip out of it the way she did with the Easy Walk harness, and fits much better than the Easy Walk did--her pulling was pretty manageable even on those steep and icy steps.
What a nimble and athletic little thing, with no fear and an adventurous spirit.
even on rocks with deep crevasses between them and at the edge of rocky precipices.
Fozzie and Lamar had a great time too.
On a nice day like this there were some other people out on the trail, and I was afraid that people with a dog would emerge any minute from behind a rock and Fozzie would yank me right over a cliff.
That didn't happen though, and the one time we did see a dog up ahead, we were slowly headed down a steep, icy part so I just stayed put with Fozzie and scratched his butt to help him relax.
And he just watched and stood still! Not a peep out of him! Can you believe that?
Fozzie really seems to be making progress lately in his leash reactivity and ability to handle other dogs. I can remember when there was no hope of him standing still, being quiet, or being able to eat a treat when he perceived another dog anywhere in the distance. In the past month or two, he's done all these things on several occasions.
And Lamar just walked right along on his 13-year-old hips.
Yay team! A gorgeous hike we will have to come back to in every season.