Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wintry Wanderings

The extra day off this week gave us the opportunity to explore the Patapsco Valley State Park, a vast land of many trails surrounding the Patapsco River near Ellicot City in Maryland. 

I love these hilly forest hikes in the winter, where you can see for miles around through the leafless tree branches. 

On a bracingly cold holiday Monday, there was barely anyone to worry about as all three dogs rans around like maniacs. 

Fozzie did take off after something at one point, and the others followed him over a hill. They came right back, though, and even the wild impulsive man was back soon enough.  

Maybe they--especially Sandy--don't want to miss an opportunity to play those wacky stick games. 
Dogs are so amazing--give them miles of wilderness to roam around in and they still seek our companionship. 

And I think there's even a good lesson here for those of us still working on teaching our friends better impulse control. It goes back to what I learned in the Control & Focus class I assisted in, which was based on Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed.  

If we make it rewarding enough for our dogs to be close to us, then the moment when we release them to wander is almost a let-down. They choose to be with us even when they have the opportunity to do otherwise. 

Easier said than done with some dogs--like Fozzie, who channels his inner Plott Hound and forgets he's supposed to be a biddable breed when presented with temptations like open space and the possibility of prey species. But its a good principle, and even with Fozzie I think there's hope!


  1. I've been enjoying all of your outings. So fun to see the pups having such great adventures.

  2. I absolutely agree-your walks are just wonderful! I love tagging along!

  3. Wowie..looks like you had a terrific outing! fabulous to see the dogs running free.
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  4. Always love to see the beautiful places you get to hike, and it's great to see the dogs enjoying themselves so much!

  5. Such happy pups! What an enjoyable outing for all of you.

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

  6. Georgia will walk near us except when she sniffs food or fishermen around. Then she doesn't know us.

  7. ah, the off leash dog envy I have is overwhelming sometimes. Our shibas, I'm almost entirely certain, would take off forever despite the fact we've made being around us so rewarding. They just don't have that loyalty I thought all dogs had. Which is why I guess they are more of a difficult breed... they're like cats.

    I need me a pit bull.

  8. I love joining all your hikes vicariously. But I grew up in Howard county, MD and this was one of my favorites. I always loved how you'd drive through all the congestion on Route 40 just to find this lovely park that helps you forget the mess all around you.


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