Archive for August, 2007

We all had the week off and decided to go to Acadia National Park for the day. Since it’s about a 140 mile drive we took Scout with us so we didn’t have to find someone that would put him out and feed him during the day. Dogs are allow in most areas of the park with the exception of the beaches, buildings and a few of the hikes that require ladders.

Our first stop was Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern coast at 1530 feet. We really only hiked about 600 feet and the view would have been specticular if it had not been foggy, very foggy and as you can see from Scout’s parted fur it was quite windy, figure close to 40 miles per hour. I looks like it would be a beautiful place in the fall to see the leaves changing colors. He really did seem to enjoy the wind in his face, he just keep flaring his nostrils and soaking in all the scents.

Due to timing of the tides and desire to check out Thunder Hole, we decided to venture to Ship Harbor to check out the tide pools while the tides were out. I seemed like our timing was perfect. We got to Ship Harbor about 30 minutes after low tide and we would want to be at Thunder Hole at about mid tide on the way in, approximately 3 hours later. So we took a hike, about 1.4 miles to the water. When we got there we tried to venture on the large granite rocks and look in the tide pools. Unfortunately Scout had other plans and felt that Michele and the kids were getting too far away for comfort and just started to bark at them. Since I felt that it was unfair to the other visitors to hear the barking, Scout and I just headed back on the trail for a bit while the others explored and, much to the kid’s chagrin, found nothing exciting. The fog was rolling in and out while we were there and pretty heavy on the way back to the car.

Thunder Hole, another 1 mile hike, was a pretty neat experience where the ocean has knocked off pieces of the granite shoreline and left cave like areas that when the tide is coming in sometimes sounds like thunder booming as the air is pushed out of the cave. I took Scout down to see Thunder Hole up close, on a walkway, and one of the booms did make him jump and he wanted to just beeline back to the top and relative safety.

One thing that I can say is that Scout did great with all the people and other dogs around and other than barking at Ship Harbor, was quiet. I do wish that I had a nickel for every time that I was asked what type of dog that is, or every he’s very pretty comment. I guess he does stand out from all the Goldens and Labs out there 🙂

We also put Scout on sheep for the first time today. He really didn’t do what I expected, I thought that it would be a barking pulling frenzy but he was very well mannered. He was on a long line and stayed with me and we walked the fence line and moved the sheep around the pen. Nothing exciting, but none the less it was a big first step! I don’t know if we will pursue herding but at least we know that he isn’t afraid of the sheep and did show some interest. As with everything we try I am sure that I will need more training just to understand what I would want him to do. We’ll see what the future brings…

Right now he is so tuckered out I kind of feel sorry for him 🙁

Today we were at a picnic for the dog training club and since it was at our agility instructor’s house there was an agility ring set up.  Scout got his turn and the first run was not bad but many handler errors.  We did the teeter with the help of the instructor spotting and led Scout up with a Hansel & Gretel treat trail.  Scout missed the treat in the center of the teeter and kept going on to the rest of the course.  Well when we were done he remembered that missed treat and charged up looking for it, it wasn’t there she had picked it up after he left the area but he sure remembered it!

The second run was better, I figured out where I should be and that made a world of difference.  I was able to keep him on my left the entire run and things were quite a bit smoother.   Don’t know if it would be a qualifying run but it was fun just the same.

Last night we had agility class and Scout was introduced to the chute or collapsed tunnel. He runs the regular tunnel just fine and with plenty of gusto, but this was quite nerve racking. He kept trying to dodge out of the barrel and it took some work to get him inside. Once he did get the guts to go into the barrel there was no stopping him from running down the whole chute. I wish I had video, it was like a red (the fabric is red) lump cruising at full speed to push his way out of the end, about 12 feet long.

So now we have tried all the obstacles with the exception of the teeter, just about 5 minutes there and it didn’t move very much so that will come with time. Now it really comes down to my handling and body language to teach him where he should go and not go. Marcia thinks that I might be ready to try a trial in the winter…We’ll see…

Gotta love a dog that wants to eat ice. We had just come back from the beach and Scout was checking out the cooler to see if there were any goodies left. The only thing that he found was ice, of course that is a big time treat around here. He spent most of the winter eating snow and ice so why should the summer be any different? Sometimes you get lucky and get a mouth full 🙂