Treen was once a non-hiking dog. Before she changed her career from a service dog with Canine Companions for Independence she hadn't spent much time on the trail let alone on the types of trips she now relishes.
Her first taste of her life as an adventure dog was on Mailbox Peak. Helping her adjust were Zeus and Athena. About five years older than Treen, they'd been hiking forever and they taught her a thing or two. (Of course, Treen's real master in her studies was the immortal Tokul, but she was 11 when Treen arrived.)
Now that Treen is at the top of her game it's only proper that she pass along what she has learned from so many dogs before her. Zeus and Athena have now passed and Scott and Jo are raising Odin. As with all puppies, he could use some direction from his elders.
Shovelhead Pass is a little known destination and perfect for a quick and easy walk in the woods. I'm sure Treen might have preferred a more ambitious destination for her birthday hike, but this short and mostly level location was a perfect schoolroom for little Odin.
Key lessons from this trip:
Any water you can find is tasty. Color is irrelevant.
Mud is hilarious.
Ears are not for chewing.
Sticks are for chewing.
Don't run headlong into a dog that's twice your size.
Stand on big rocks to look noble for pics.
Befriend patient dogs. They're more likely to put up with your juvenile hijinks.
Don't rely on being cute. Everybody grows up.
Have fun. If you're not having fun you're doing it wrong.
Not all these lessons will stick, but each time it gets a little harder to forget. No dog is born to the trail, but they can all be made into adventurers.