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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An adventure!

Mum found a great place last week that we could go and get in a little hiking, just about a block or so away. The land belongs to one of the largest Churches in the city and they have about 50 acres, right in the middle of town.

We had walked over there before, but never ventured into the wooded areas, because it was too cold, too wet, or, or, or. But the past week Mum has taken us over there several times and we have had a blast!

Once we get into the property, we are pretty far from the roads, so Mum has let me off leash. And I've been really good about staying close or coming when she calls me and I'm getting a little too far from her.

The land has an amazing stretch of lawn, that eventually leads to a woodland type area - rare around here in the city. We have a lot of fun running on the lawn, chasing Mum and playing in the brush, jumping over sticks and fallen trees. I even jumped right into the pond the other day to cool off. (Got a quick rinse off when I got home). And there are some amazing homes that back up to the woodland area, you can see them in the video.

Yesterday we took our usual walk back there. Mum had Gracie on a long line and working with her on her 'come when called'. I was off lead some, but I was being a bit stubborn yesterday and not coming immediately when Mum called me. So she put us both back on short leads. We walked into the furthest parts of the land in the wooded area, and just then we all heard something in the brush. It was a red fox! And dog, did I ever want to chase that thing. It took one look at the three of us and took off! We went berserk!

In all the years (and, there are many) that Mum has lived in Indiana, she has never seen a fox. And she used to spend lots of time in rural Indiana, roaming the creeks and woods, and farmland behind where she grew up. A possum, yes. Raccoons, you bet. Field mice, all the time. Deer, of course! But never had she seen a wild red fox. She just stood there and watched the quick thing, and never thought to get out the camera (the pic is one we found). It would have been gone too soon anyway.

So, then we were pretty worked up for a while. Mum walked us more in the grassy areas, and finally thought I was calm enough to run a bit off lead. But what happened then? You guessed it. My nemeses, the bird! Just as Mum let me off lead, here comes a bird swooping down nearly touching my head. So what did I do - gave chase, of course.

And did I hear Mum calling? Nope, not until I got about 300 yards away from her. And she was yelling very loudly! About gave her a heart attack. As the birds headed for the trees, I went over the hill and Mum couldn't see me. But just a half-second later, I came running back to her at full speed.

Whew, what a scare. Mum loved on me and had had enough of my antics for the day. So we headed home.

Every time (well, except yesterday) Mum calls me I come back to her. I am soooo good about that. I may go a little further than she wants (even without those legal steroids, just kidding!), but I always come when called. Yesterday it took me way too long for her taste.

She so wants me to be able to hike off lead with her - it's amazing exercise, jumping over sticks and brush, up and down hills, and it is much better for my neck and back than being on lead. I do amazing long distance stays for her, every time we go for a walk. I come when I'm called 99.9% of the time, right away.

Do you think this means it's the end of off lead for me? Will we never find a safe place to hike? Mum has yet to decide, but any decision probably won't happen for at least a couple of days until her heart rate goes back to normal.


  1. There is nothing better than getting out into the middle of nowhere and walking. It's almost primal and has turned into one of my most favorite things...for my pooch and I just becomes two animals doing something that we have been doing for thousands of years.

    Enjoyed your video, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi, Johann! First of all, thanks for your comments! Then, I liked your story very much and finally, of course, I will write something about foxes. Keep up the good work and cheers!

  3. Oh mine, you saw a fox.. That's so exciting... You go on sure pawsome walkies

    ~ Girl girl

  4. You are so right wolfgirl! Primal, and just being - dog...

    Thanks Angel, we will look forward to reading more about the red fox!

    Hey GG! I hate to tell you this, but you wouldn't want to see a red fox in person; they are 'interested' in rodents, stay away!!!

    Woofs, Johann

  5. too bad, malaysia don't have a single fox here...wat a pity...

    during my weekly hiking, i only came across monkeys...there are lotsa them...but i never gotta chase them, coz i can't climb trees...

  6. Johann -
    you know we love you - but DON'T DO THAT AGAIN! It's not nice to terrify your mom! And it's a terrible example for Gracie! But the hike was very neat - I wish we had any "scenery" around here. Chicago's just flat as a pancake!

  7. Pawesome video! Hopefully you'll still be able to run off leash...I've given HM a few scares too...once it was another dog who bolted from it's human, and I thought he wanted a game of chase, so I took off after it...and that dog wasn't coming back..but HM kept calling me and I did a big circle and came back.

    Anyway, found a cool new blog you might enjoy: http://www.teamsmalldog.com/blog/

    a woman in Cali who blogs about her agility mis-adventures and her team of small dogs...Gustavo looks like he could be your brother!!



  8. I grew up in Indiana and never saw a red fox either, but I knew they were around because fox, er...droppings are perfume for dogs. Good thing there was no rolling around going on during the chase.

  9. Your new hiking spot sounds awesome, Johann. I can only dream of someday when Mama will trust me enough to be off leash!
    Murphy Dogg


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