One of my most favorite places to hike is in Utah; The Narrows! Are dogs allowed? Nope! Will I go back to hike the Narrows? Yep! That is how much I love that experience! With that being said, I will almost always let an opportunity to adventure go by, if I am not allowed to take Hendrix. While I do not always agree with reasons given why dogs are not allowed, I do respect the rules. I also know that not every dog behaves in a manner that would not cause excessive damage, or negative experiences for wild life, and other adventurers. I have heard of more than one incident of dogs running back to their “pack” with a bear hot on their tail!
So, why would I forgo some fantastic adventures, just for a dog? For me, Hendrix is not “just a dog”. While I try hard not to get on the band wagon of humanizing my dogs, Hendrix is definitely a companion. While he enjoys being out and exploring the world, where I am at, and what I am doing is always his #1 interest. Since I do the majority of my adventuring solo, this is a huge comfort to me, and the people who love me.
Not all dogs are fantastic trail companions. While my Bonnie gets to go often, she gets to stay on a leash majority of the time, as her excitement and prey drive would carry her right off a cliff, if I am not very careful where I give her unleashed freedom. Bonnie also is disillusioned in her thinking that every single person she sees wants limitless “love”! This shot is a perfect example of two different personalities on the trails. Bonnie being Bonnie, and Hendrix, as usual, looking back for direction. I think he may of also been thinking, “Good grief! Does she ever stop?!”
Who has ever been out on a trail and thought, “Hmmm…… I think it is this way.”? One time that I did not follow Hen’s lead, when he was very confident as to which way to go, was the closest I think we have ever come to getting into real trouble out on a hike. I got lost on a desert hike, almost ran out of water, and had to repeatedly stop to let Hen climb under shrubs for shade. I almost cried when we made it back to the trail head that day. I felt like the worst pet owner for several days after that hike! But I was so curious after that! How did he know? “Path integration”. Look it up. It’s a thing! Hen really can find his way home better than I can. Bonnie can do it also, but she wants to take the shortest path to the truck, right through the thickest of brush, if I would let her. She will stop and look around and try to show me the shortest way. While brilliant, not the best option on the trails. “Come here Bon Bon. You are going to need your leash again!”
The only other time I ignored Hendrix’s “warning” almost put us in another predicament. We were on a fantastic EARLY morning hike. Not another soul to be seen the whole sunrise hike. My most favorite kind of adventure! I just couldn’t get why Hen stopped, and wanted to turn around and go the other way. It wasn’t hot. The trail was all kinds of awesome. “Come on boy. This is amazing!” I stepped around him and kept going. He stayed with me but was none to happy about trudging forward! When we came around a bend a few steps ahead, it was clear what his reservations were about. Fresh signs of a cat, right in the middle of the trail. I could see and smell the cat urine. While I love humans also, they just can’t pull off that kind of use of their 5 senses.
In case you want to know more reasons why Hendrix is my very favorite adventure companion, here are a few more:
- Hendrix is always willing.
- Hendrix never complains.
- Hendrix is done when I am done. (Requires paying attention to your dog. They will literally try themselves to death if you a have good trail dog!)
- Hendrix gets just as excited to see my backpack come out as I do.
- Hendrix will always willingly put himself between myself and danger.
- Hendrix will get me out the door, even on days that I would rather sleep. (I have never regretted going, once out the door!)
- Hendrix always has a kiss to share and loves hugs!
Do you adventure with your fur baby? Do you need assistance choosing a canine companion? Leave your comments and let’s chat!