Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crazy PackHounds

The weekend of August 29 was the big overnight backpack trip for the dogs to earn two legs towards their Packdog certificates from the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club. We started training last spring to get the dogs used to carrying at least 20% of their weight for at least 5 miles. The trip was great and all the dogs earned their two legs! We hiked along the Arizona Trail between Sandy Canyon and Marshal Lake. Here are some highlights from the trip.

This picture is actually from the morning after we hiked in, but I didn't get a beginning group shot. From left to right it's Zephyr and me, Friday and Dan, Kenda and Tammy, Twix and Cristine, and Linus and Chris.

Starting out on the hike Zephyr carried about 18 pounds, more than 20% of his weight actually. His bed roll fit nicely on top of his pack.

Most of the group at a water break. All the boys had crushes on Kenda the Blond Bombshell Bearded Collie and Twix the Sexy Svelte Visla.

Cruising along the trail. Zephyr carried 6 liters of water, all his food and snacks, his blanket, and our camera in his pack. After we got on the trail we let the dogs off leash and they did a great job. Although, one of the biggest challenges while hiking was keeping the dogs from breaking out in to all out play. They would zoom around even with their packs on.

Once we got to the campsite the dogs decided it was time to let loose. We camped in the trees next to a big grassy meadow that the dogs had an absolute blast running and playing in. The blur on the left is Kenda.

Kenda, Linus, and Friday having fun.


And Lots,

And Lots,

And Lots,

And Lots of Fun was had in the field! We were worried about the dogs making it back out the next day. Twix was a little unsure of what to think of all this craziness at first, but, by the next morning she was out there having fun too.

Finally it was time for bed. Although, Zephyr really did think that it was unfair that there wasn't a special Dogs Only tent.

Zephyr proclaims, "This is the best trip of my whole life!"

A break on the way out the next morning.

Friday coming up the trail. He had to carry the most weight, 26 pounds at start, what a trooper!

We made it! Everyone made it back with no problems and lots of fun was had along the way.

Back at the camp ground all the dogs received two really nice qualifying ribbons and a special yummy biscuit. Chris, Dan, and I met up at Baskin Robbin's for ice cream back in town.

Zephyr crashed out when we got home. He had lots of dreams that afternoon and night, hopefully he was back in the meadow with all his friends.

Riley and Annie had fun in the back yard and tried some agility while Zephyr slept on the porch that afternoon.

Thanks to Chris for organizing our trip, we can't wait for the next one!


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Looks like loads of fun. I wonder if there is anything like that in GA. I'm impressed that Z carried 26 lbs!


Hiking Hounds said...

Thanks! Actually Zephyr only carried 18 lbs, Friday carried the 26. But 18 was more than he needed. :-)

Sarah Regan Snavely said...

Looks like so much fun! Thank you for sharing this experience.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Well, Heck! I'm impressed with 18lbs. When is your puppy coming?


Jen said...

Wow, did Z get his certificate? Or is that only for Swissies?

VERY cool pics. :)


Hiking Hounds said...

Zephyr doesn't have his certificate yet. The dogs still need to do two more hikes. Our next one is planned for November 21. It will be a longer hike, about 10 miles, but no overnight. The Swissie club is really nice and they give certificates for all breed of dogs. I think that's great for getting everyone out there having fun with their dogs. :-)