Friday, February 08, 2008

The story of an Adventure dog

Ok, I don't get any -45 Arctic bay nights, but still, winter bums me out. One of the things that helps me through is to close my eyes and think back to summer camping trips.

I've had a lot of fun camping in the last few years with Anna (my wife) and her parents and their THREE GREAT DANES. These dogs are incredible animals. "Gentle giants." They're highly engaged by human interaction and are very loving.

They're also incredibly athletic. Pepper, the smallest of the three, is built like a greyhound-cheetah mix. When she gets out into the yard its like watching an airshow.

But great danes, god bless them, are not rugged outdoor adventure types. Their thin coats are easily scraped by branches. Here is a photo of Sadie (a cousin of Scoobie doo) when she fell into the lake. What can I say, those lion paws are just no good at scaling the Canadian shield.

This brings me back to Sookie--a dog of which we have absolutely no clue as to her pedigree (she's adopted). She's a curious mix of black bear, buffalo and goose and is a true adventure dog.

After we pulled Sadie out of the lake, she, Pepper, Sookie and I went for a climb into the interior of the forest. The terrain was very steep and Sadie, almost in a show of pride, went tearing ahead of me up the embankment with Sookie in tow. Pepper, a more cautious dog lagged behind, and eventually turned back to seek attention of Anna and her parents who were still down on the rocks enjoying the sun.

When I got to the top I saw that Sookie was busy exploring but that Sadie seemed much more subdued. I noticed a gash on her leg and decided I'd better take her back down. She picked up on this and, as before, tore ahead of me--except this time running full-tilt down a steep and uneven hill.

I'm not quite sure what happened, but I believe I saw her wipe-out in the distance. When I reached her she was walking with a bit of a limp, but buoyed by my presence she tore off again and after all the forest crashing of a Bigfoot attack, I eventually heard her rejoin the pack down on the rocks below.

Deciding I'd better tell them what had happened, I continued down the embankment to the last stretch--a 6 foot drop. Nothing major, but something that you have to hold onto exposed tree roots as you ease your way down to the ground. The passage is narrow--just enough for one body.

But that didn't stop my greedy little Sookie from pushing past me as I was hanging off a root (like Spiderman) just in time to see her fly off the drop (like Superman.) She hit the ground running... and not a scratch. Now there's an adventure dog.


Anna said...

Poor Sadie!

Tina said...

Great story!

Julie said...

I love great danes, such gentle giants.

once again.. I want a dog!

Rob (South of 63) said...

How about a profile pic of the adventure hound? Great story!