Soon after my 20 miler, our weather morphed back into Fall. We've had rain the past few days, with showers and fog greeting me and Kona during our outings.
We don't normally get rain this time of year, so it's been strange to watch the hillsides turn to their winter green. You can see Kona standing on a bed of new wild grass. If these sprouts continue to grow, they'll choke out the dry foxtails, making exploring safe for Kona again. Unfortunately, they'll ultimately dry out to become stickers themselves.
Kona and I hiked the last two mornings. I'm slow to get my wet-weather legs moving. Kona has enjoyed the slower pace, taking more time to sniff and look over the trails.
I've noticed changes in Kona during our trail time over the past couple months. Kona use to have one speed--Kona speed. This meant if we ran, she pulled. If we hiked, she really pulled. Lately, Kona changes her pace to follow mine. It seems so basic, but the basics with Kona are huge. I wonder if she's gained confidence or maturity.
We've had a lot of fun together on our last two hikes. Kona has taken the initiative to play eye contact games. She became so insistant yesterday that I had to send her away in order to save treats! It was only a year ago that Kona was first willing to eat a treat while on trail. Lately, she's exploring, checking in with me, exploring more.
Look at that Kona tail!
Of course, all this togetherness flies out the window at the first sign of a small animal, but that enthusiasm only adds zest. I keep hoping that the changes aren't a fluke. Feeling connected to my dog on our morning trails is truly a treasure.