Since it’s still early we decide to take a little diversion down a side trail that has a great little creek the dogs love to splash around in. Again Eeyore knows where he’s heading and starts to pick up his pace. Getting to the creek first, he knows he has to wait for permission. Some times of year this creek is a stagnant pool of slime, algae and god knows what. And we always follow the rule that if we wouldn’t get in, then neither are the dogs. It’s important to remember that dogs are susceptible to the same internal parasites we are, so again we have to be their conscience and reasoning.
Along the same lines it’s important to remember that unless you know a stream is running with FRESH rainwater, don’t let your dog drink it. Bacteria and contaminants can be found in most water sources. If they drink a sip or two, which Ruhni usually does, don’t freak out. Just try your best and don’t rely on streams and creeks as your dog’s water source.
After their refreshing dip it’s time to make our way back to the car. One of the main reasons we make that diversion, especially in the hotter summer months, is to prevent any signs of overexertion or heat stroke. Dogs are good troopers; they will work past the point of exhaustion. So always keep an eye out for excessive panting with the tongue very far out of the mouth and lips pulled back, redness of the eyes, white gums, and dragging their feet while walking. If you see a combination of these things then take a break and cool off your dog with water. Remember that dogs don’t sweat to cool off like we do.
Getting back to the car Ruhni makes it abundantly clear she is ready to go, never taking her eyes off the car door! But we’ve gotten into a habit of doing a post hike exam. Checking for external parasites like ticks, and cuts or abrasions especially around the paws and pads, sticks or briars in their fur that can irritate the skin later, and any signs of over exertion. That being done, the mutts dive in the car ready for their next adventure!
And most importantly we have our first hike of the year out of the way safely, paving the way for many more to come!!