It’s about my latest adventure, trekking with Bernie and Chris.
Bernie is the Goldendoodle (GoldenRetriever/Poodle), and Chris is a Red Standard Poodle. That stagecoach in the background is as stated, “Very 1st RV to arrive in Arizona”.
How did it all happen? It’s too long and varied and too boring to categorize. Our most recent information is available to you here on this blog and my books.
This blog shares fun stuff from the past year or so. I’ve written three books that are available on Amazon in print and eBook:
“Challenges and Rewards” was training Bernie and Chris to be therapy dogs.
“The Last Dance” was a short escapade involved travel with the dogs to Colorado and Quartzsite, Arizona. I’d hoped to travel much more, but that never happened.
The third book, “Dog Therapy & Travel Adventures” was about Bernie and Chris and includes visiting various Arizona cities.
The latest untitled book deals with adventures in additional Arizona communities. It will include: “Trekking with leashed dogs.”
Trekking with leashed dogs
Sunday afternoon, after last Thursday’s writer critique of “Last time at this spot,” Joseph scrutinized several scattered papers. Using the group’s suggestions, he corrected his story.
His pressed lips expressed frustration of being forced to leave the best exercise place found in over three years. Using logic, Joseph examined the dilemma. I must obey leash rules. My large boys need running room to stay in shape. I can’t run fast enough to handle them.
Joseph took Bernie and Chris to a public dog park. He thought it solved the issue until Bernie got bit five years ago. For two weeks, Bernie wore an Elizabethan dog collar. Joseph paid a huge vet bill. No more dog parks.
After that experience, Joseph and his dogs located vacant lots and fields for their workout. That worked until business, and housing development claimed the areas.
The desert was always available. Although rattlesnakes and coyotes lived there, the dogs were larger than coyotes and I educated both dogs to avoid rattlesnakes.
Bernie and Chris had fun in their desert. Joseph accepted it. Their playground might be fun for them, but not for Joseph. The desert was dirty. His dogs got filthy. He continually had to clean the inside the car. They tracked dust into the house.
Public health requirements stipulated therapy dogs be clean when visiting facilities. Each week Joseph drove Bernie and Chris to “The Loving Touch.” They enjoyed being pampered, professionally washed, clipped and groomed.
Weary from a constant search for exercise sites, Joseph scratched his head and considered the dilemma. Years ago, he enjoyed jogging. These days’ trek poles help stabilize his slow gait.
Aha! He snapped his fingers. Joggers and runners exercise with their dogs.
At the computer, he googled Amazon and typed in “belted dog leashes.” After scanning over two dozen items, Joseph ordered “Hands-Free Dog Leash.”
As a Prime Amazon member, the package arrived in two days.
Friday, back in the desert, Joseph attached the belt to himself and the separate leads to his adult pups.
∞ ∞ ∞
Saturday, on the front porch, Bernie and Chris enjoy the eighty-degree temperature.
Chris cocks his head, “What’s he doing?”
Not wanting to move from his horizontal position, Bernie opens his eyes but says nothing.
Now disturbed, Bernie sighed and raised his skull. Joseph was busy positioning something on the sidewalk.
“Bernie, what’s he doing?” Chris demanded.
“Hell, I don’t know, beats me.”
They watch as Joseph bent over and adjusted the loop, forming a large circle. Shifting to the other end, eight feet away, he separated the leads. As Joseph straightened up, sunlight reflected on the silver metal buckle.
Chris flinched, as the bright beam flashed in his eyes. He shook his head, “Damn.” He squinted and identified the shiny object. “We’re in trouble, Bernie.”
“Cause that’s a long leash, and you know what that means.”
“We’re gonna get hitched?”
“I hate it.”
“Makes no difference to me, I’ll just pull like I ever do.”
“Yeah, and pull me right along with you,” grumbled Chris and watched Joseph return to the vehicle.
From the rear of the car, moving with intent, Joseph gathered two poles, again returned and laid them alongside the long leash on the concrete.
Almost dumped last night. Took less than ten feet to get all tangled up. Thank God for the treks.
He bent over then, he grabbed the ‘D’ ring and snapped one double-wrapped bungee link to shorten the leash.
He grinned. Let’s see if that makes any difference.
As he stood up, Joseph pulled the cell phone camera from his pocket.
Joseph concentrated. Satisfied, he pressed the button.
As the shutter clicked, both dogs turned their heads and looked at each other. They remembered last night’s FUBAR (Fouled Up Beyond All Repair). What a disaster.
The long leach had tangled between Bernie’s legs, and the short-connected lead nearly strangled Chris. One trek pole caught between Bernie’s legs. Joseph had the long leash stretched between his legs.
To keep from falling, Joseph braced himself with the other trek pole.
Damn. Another character-building opportunity. Typical. When challenged, Joseph tried being positive.
Joseph realized it wasn’t enough to attach the belt and hook up both dogs. They designed this model for people who either walked or jogged with dogs. Using trek poles wound not guarantee “hands-free” success.
He trained Bernie and Chris for therapy dog work. Joseph knew both dogs were calm around wheelchairs, crutches, and canes. Not concerned about the dogs, Joseph worried more about his trek-handling ability.
∞ ∞ ∞
Sunday’s dawn materialized. With Bernie and Chris in the SUV, Joseph drove toward the Sunflower RV Resort exit. He spotted a young rabbit hopping across the street.
There goes a coyotes’ future meal. Last year, I either saw three coyotes or the same one three times.
He arrived at the desert turn-out and swung the car off the paved road. The vehicle crossed the narrow gully and climbed four feet to flat wasteland. Joseph continued navigating the twisting dusty trail to their favorite spot.
After the debacle of last night trying to trek with leashed dogs, I’m not doing that again. I’ll trek and let them enjoy running loose.
With tight-gripped poles, Joseph plowed through the bush. Within minutes, he paused and turned fully around. The car had disappeared. Joseph glanced everywhere and mapped a cautious route back to the car. Although Bernie had stayed within a hundred feet, Chris wasn’t in sight.
To activate Chris’s collar, Joseph double-tapped the remote. That should fetch my lovable rascal. Bernie jerked his head, wheeled, and rushed to Joseph.
It took a moment for Joseph to realize, although he tapped Chris’s button, Bernie responded. Does the remote activated both collars?
If so, there was a problem. Bernie waited beside Joseph. Chris was still somewhere out there. If Joseph activated the remote, Bernie would feel it. Although not harmful, the stimulation felt like static electricity. Bernie has already responded. The device was a training aid, therefore to use it would be a mistake.
Joseph won’t compromise what Bernie learned. However, Chris needed to return now─not when that scoundrel decided.
Joseph gritted his teeth and took deep breaths, determined not to stimulate both collars. He trusted Chris was on his way.