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!