The other day Jackie (middle sister) and I went on our usual hike with the pups in Garin Regional Park. Instead of our usual 3 dog 4 human pack it was a simple 2:2 ratio, dog to human.
Hiking with the pups is probably my favorite activity. Whether its just an afternoon hike or a hike to an overnight destination, I always feel a bit more connected with my pup after a good and tiring hike. About a year ago, when I first adopted Ender, all I did was hike with the pups. I had a lot more free time and was really focused on making sure Ender got the proper exercise he needed. We went on a hike 5 days of the week for at least an hour. It was a great way to get that teenager/puppy energy out. He would chase ground squirrels and run up and down hills, climb trees and search for old deer bones. I can't count how many deer legs have been brought to me, he always looked so proud.
As we've gotten to know each other and as Ender's gotten older (he is only 1 year and 8 months old) I'm realizing he is a pretty low energy dog. He loves to go out but doesn't need to be out as long as I had originally thought. We work well together because most days I'm working on my computer and spending more hours in than I'd like and he is totally down to chill next to or on me. But the second I'm ready for a hike or a ride on my longboard he is happily by my side.
Riley, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I love that girl to death but if she was mine she'd drive me crazy. I just don't have the energy of a golden retriever or the patience for their spastic antics. After spending a lot of time with so many different dogs I've really come to understand the importance in finding the right dog for you. My heart goes out to all of the homeless pit bulls, I wish everyone could understand how much love they have to give, but I definitely do not think that everyone should get one.
Just a few months ago I was trying to convince everyone I knew to go adopt a pit bull. I wanted everyone to know what it was like to have such an amazing companion. Now, however, I realize that as wonderful as pitties are...they aren't for everyone. They need a very specific leader and not everyone has that in them, which is totally okay! And this goes with any dog! Understanding yourself before you adopt a dog is so important. You've really got to know how much you're willing to give to your dog, not just love but exercise and most importantly discipline. Ender has taught me more than any schooling or traveling has. I thought that traveling the world would be the most exciting thing in my life...but Ender has truly been such a blessing and the most gratifying and wonderful adventure.
I've gone off on a tangent...HIKING. We were talking about hiking.
Hiking is great and you should hike with your dogs because they love it and you'll love it too. :)