Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weather and Kona Changes

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.


Sara said...

That's such wonderful news to hear! I guess you better start bringing more treats! I know how tempted I am to treat Oreo everytime his head turns to me on a walk, because I'm so proud of him. I'm proud of Kona too!

Stella said...

Hi AC:

Do you happen to get the NY Times on-line edition? There was an article about running the NYC Marathon and I thought about you right away, but now I can't find it. Helpful, right?

Smooches to Kona!


Life with 5 dogs said...

It sounds like you two have a wonderful Bond and I bet you are so proud of Kona.

KB said...

It sounds like Kona has taken huge leaps forward. That must feel so great for you. I agree that feeling connected to your dog on the trails is a treasure.

I laughed, after your R and Kona analogies - R has recently started initiating eye contact with me during hikes (which I reward with treats). He gets super insistent, to the point that he's walking backward directly in front of me while staring in my eyes. I guess that neither R or Kona does anything halfway!

AC said...

Stella (and Jo), I didn't see the article, but I'll have to look for it! Thanks for thinking me! Counting down the days... (18) =)

Two Pitties in the City said...

It's so great to hear about Kona. I think sometimes we're too close to be able to notice the changes. Are you going to keep a similar schedule after the marathon?

Barb said...

You and Kona have both worked hard at adapting to each other, AC. Glad all the training is coming together for you. Love that last shot.

Anonymous said...

I think this is most wonderful! I don't think it's a fluke at all. You're becoming true partners on your journey. And that's a most precious thing.

Wiggles & Wags,

Sam said...

It's wonderful to hear about the leaps and bounds that Kona has made. I'm starting to get my MargeDog back now that it's cool and quiet - I'm sure the weather must be helping Kona, too!

Priscilla said...

I'm so glad Kona is maturing during the hikes!! I love the feeling when your dog improves in something!

Kathy said...

Kona is such an amazing girl-and it sounds like you both have such an amazing bond and it has to feel so good to see things gelling esp when it is all built on having a great relationship!

LauraK said...

Aww I'm so glad you gals are connecting more- it's amazing how far Kona has come, just in the short time that I've been reading your blog. Sounds like she's really starting to come out of her shell :)

Hope you two continue to have fun-filled interactive mornings, and good luck as you continue to prepare for your race!