Monday, May 06, 2013

Snakes are out, is your dog safe?

I'm starting to see more and more snakes out and about, now that the weather has warmed up.  Conversations with other dog folks have turned to snakes and dogs on the trail.  Recently, a couple of people have asked me about the rattlesnake vaccine.  I have to confess that I really don't know that much about it, but generally I try not to give extra shots to my dogs.  My dogs have all had snake aversion training and, for me anyway, that's enough.  However, my hiking buddy has also taken all of her dogs through snake aversion training and she also makes use of the vaccine.

There are some good arguments for getting the vaccine and they can be found at this FAQ.  This article by the  UC-Davis School of Veterinary medicine presents some things to think about when considering whether or not to give your dog the vaccine.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shameless begging for votes

This has nothing to do with hiking, beyond the fact that the video was taken right after the completion of a five mile hike to the top of Grizzly peak in southern Oregon.  The dogs in the video are all older.  The youngest is 6 and the oldest is 12.

This particular video is a finalist in Purina's ProPlan Great Dog video contest.  By some miracle, we have made it to the finals and your votes can help to get us over the top.  Please follow the link and vote for "Teammate".

2-16-14 update-- I removed the links to the video as they no longer worked.  My dogs did make a cameo appearance in the commercial "How I'm Great" in which my guys playing tetherball appear about 15 seconds in on the 1 minute version.  We didn't win the contest, but we were a top 10 finalist and won a year's supply of Purina Pro Plan for one dog, which was nice. Purina's link takes you to their current advertising campaign and then you have to search around in their site to find the commercial and the videos and profiles of the dogs used.  If you want to see the original video that we entered click here to see it on my YouTube channel.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Copeland Mine Road Hike

Our most recent hike is one of my favorite short hikes in the Gila National Forest.  When I need to get the dogs out and I'm not really feeling like a strenuous excursion, I just load everybody up and we quickly head down to Copeland Mine Road.

It's an unmaintained 4x4 road in the Burro mountains, not too far from the Continental Divide Trail.  Usually, no one else is there and the dogs can run and chase lizards to their heart's content.  I generally do a short loop of the road that ends up being maybe a mile and a half, but if I'm feeling energetic there are all sorts of possiblities with this road and it can even be a nice long meandering hike as the road connects with other trails in the forest, and exploring side canyons is always an option.

There's no water available on this trail, but once the monsoons start there are plenty of puddles for the dogs to cool off in.

The trail is generally shady and comfortable, for both man and beast, making it a favorite summer jaunt.  In the winter, however, I tend to avoid this trail because the ease of accessibility makes it attractive to trappers, and after one of the dogs encountered a trap, I just decided to avoid the area during trapping season.