Friday, May 7, 2010

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

It's been a bit of an off week, and it was time for me and Kona to get back to it this morning. In an attempt to avoid the infestation of foxtails on our neighborhood trails, we headed out to the Creek. After our first stream crossing, Kona stopped to pose in front of a (ha!) field of foxtails. So much for that idea.
I tried to keep Kona away from the sides of the fireroad to avoid those nasty stickers. While foxtails have been in the making all spring, it wasn't until a week or two ago that they dried out enough to lose their seeds.

I felt bad for restricting Kona's romp-range as we ran. Sniffing and exploring helps her relax, but as I discovered earlier in the week, sniffing around foxtails can lead to sticker inhalation.

I was glad when we reached the mouth of the canyon, where sage brush and sumac overtook the dried grass. Our canyons are so steep, and as spring turns to summer, the dry air makes them seem more inhospitable. Nonetheless, nature finds a way to thrive.
As soon as the canyon narrowed, our run became a hike. Multiple creek crossing and boulder scrambles make the trail too rough to run. Kona thrives when the terrain gets technical, but this morning she seemed to have trouble loosening up.
The water level has dropped over the past several weeks, making it possible for me to cross the creek and keep my feet dry. Heh. I did well for awhile. To my defense, creek crossing with Kona attached to your waist takes some coordination.

With soggy socks, I made it to the falls.
Kona spent about 15 seconds looking a bit unsure of herself. 1,2,3,4,5,6...
We then played our usual Falls game of bobbing for sticks. It goes like this: Kona finds a stick. I take it from her. I throw the stick in the water. The stick sinks. Kona bobs to retrieve the stick. Repeat. The sticks around the fall become so saturated with water that it's sometimes impossible to find one that floats so we can play a normal game of fetch. Kona doesn't seem to mind.
I wanted to extend the morning, but we had to head home. It was good to get back in the swing of things and hang out with the Kona dog.


Sara said...

What a great time. Love your bobbing for sticks game. I'm glad Kona is back out on the trail and has a healthy nose!

Isn't an excursion with your dog the best way to start your day?

LauraK said...

Sounds like a fun morning! Much better than being tortured by foxtails. That's so cute that she bobs for sticks. I know a lot of dogs that will stick their faces underwater, but ours would never dream of doing that. Glad to see you two back out on the trail :) Miss Kona sure seems happy!

Sam said...

She looks so happy! I'm glad you had a nice time out, even if it wasn't as long as you would have liked.

It's been a crazy week here, too, and the pace won't slow down for at least another week.

Barb said...

What a great area for a run/hike! I like the falls - looks as though Kona does, too. Have a happy weekend.

Kathy said...

wow, the falls are gorgeous, where is that at? That snicker inhailation is bad stuff!!!
Whooo hooo Kona looks like a world class stick bobber, that looks like fun. I think what I like most about Kona is she is all dog...she uses her sense of smell, and loves to bob for sticks, she likes pulling on walks, what a cool dog.

KB said...

So sorry that I missed your snout foxtail postings. Our internet has been so unreliable lately. It's down more often than it works.

We used to live in your state and had numerous foxtail incidents. My SAR dog got foxtails into every conceivable body cavity (I'm not kidding). In my experience, if the sneezing stops, the pup probably expelled the foxtail in a sneeze or it was actually something else.

My vet does the same "list all the options" technique. I always ask her "If K were your dog, which option would you choose?". She's willing to respond to that question, and usually I take whichever option the vet says that she would choose. If one of the many options is very expensive, I ask her "what option would you choose if money were no obstacle?" because I truly want to know what's best for my dog, and I'll find the $ somehow even if it's super expensive.

Glad that you and Kona got out for a good romp today! Water included. She must have been a happy girl!

Melinda said...

Can I include a picture of Kona in my next post about the benefits of running with dogs? I run with my furry friend in the foothills of Boise and love it. No waterfalls like you have pictured here, though! I could also include a benefit of your choice, if interested. Check out my web site for more.