So today was the first hike of summer. CC is 14 now, and though she doesn't act like it all the time, she's slowly but surely started acting her age. Today we hiked a popular trail and at the end of it, she was exhausted, tail uncurled, grumpy, hot, and fussy. Granted, I was hot, tired, fussy, hungry, and exhausted too, but like a typical Shiba, CC is very good at letting me know when she is displeased. Mainly just from the glares she occasionally shoots me on long walks when her feet get tired. I think she had fun though during the hike.
The trail we took totaled to around 7 miles, which considering was more than usual, but they were rather gentle trails on Chautauqua that weren't too bad. On the hike CC got to chase after birds and squirrels (I keep her on a leash so she can't harass the wildlife during hikes, because it annoys me when people let their dogs chase deer and kill/harass smaller wildlife on hikes), and she got to wade in several mountain streams. I'm very proud of her, she put her feet in very bravely, a very rare fete for a hydrophobic shiba princess like herself.
However, sometimes it bugs me to see her getting older. I wish I could just press a button and get more time, which is really selfish on my part. When I first moved here, she used to bounce up that trail, be a little bit tired, but bounce back and be ready to hike another 10 miles if it meant she could chase another squirrel. Granted it was a long and slightly stressful day- we woke up early, met with a friend who isn't fond of dogs, went up to Nederlands, hiked around the lake (about a mile) then decided to hike some more since the weather wasn't hot at all (the forcast said it would be in the 90s today, more like 70s, with a lot of cloud cover). I think CC was a very good ambassador for her species but still, I'm always nervous around people who aren't familiar with animals or dislike them. She might have been picking up that extra stressor which wore us both out faster than normal.
Although after thinking it through, it maybe it's not age after all- our friend passed out as soon as he got back home, and we the shiba parents all are complaining of tired feet. Perhaps next time we'll keep it to only 4 miles, and maybe I'll carry her more. ...I think her paws are more tired than mine. However, there's no one to carry me when I'm tired, but... it's a happy burden I will gladly carry up and down the tallest mountain. Just so we can find the one chipmonk or squirrel on the mountain, and chase it. Or I can just make her dad carry her up and down the mountain, and keep our eyes peeled for squirrels.
This was a longer blog, and due to both CC's tiredness and my own, the photos will be posted sometime later this week.