Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wanderlust and Weather

A few days into the New Year, Egan and I found ourselves in a mostly empty bar on a Saturday night. With not much going on we wound up talking.  We'd both been feeling restless. We had some adventures together over the summer but it had been months since we'd done anything out of the ordinary. Things were looking bleak from our cubicles and we were getting frustrated. As we began to talk about places we would like to go and the adventures we longed to have, we both began to light up. Then and there we renewed our commitment to satisfying our wanderlust. We vowed to not let more than two weeks go by without doing something, no matter how small. As I've told Egan many times since then, we need to take baby steps to work up to the bigger adventures we have planned.

One of these big adventures is something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager, thru hike the entire Appalachian trail. Egan was immediately on board. Of course we want to take both pups. We're in the planning stages now.  At this point the goal is to get in shape with daily walks and weekend hiking adventures. Since it's January that limits us a bit.  It also doesn't help that as of right now Sundays are our only chance to adventure as a team.

We lucked out last Sunday even if we had to change plans.  We had wanted to get an early start and be at Mounds State Park in Anderson, IN when the park opened at 7 AM. This turned out to be for the best as the temperature was around 24 degrees. Neither dog was geared up for those temps and everyone would have been miserable if not unsafe. By the time we got to Holiday Park in the afternoon the temps were in the low 40's and we had a great time! 

However, temperatures dropped again and it's been below freezing all week. Athena and I haven't even walked the past week. Heck, it's been a struggle to get the stubborn little wiener just to go potty outside. We were hoping for another local adventure this Sunday and luckily for us Indianapolis has lots to offer herself as well as being a short drive to lots of other fun places to explore. Unfortunately looking at tomorrow's weather forecast isn't leaving me hopeful.  It's supposed to be dangerously icy. I suppose we could find some indoor adventure but would probably have to leave the pups at home.

Egan texted me this picture the other day. So far she's only successful at eating on the treadmill.

Speaking of indoors, Egan has been trying to talk Maru into getting a little indoor exercise on the treadmill.  I'll leave you with this picture of Maru wearing her backpack on the treadmill.  Note: she is not a fan of neither treadmill nor backpack.

- Kathy

P.S. Why's it always gotta be nice when I'm stuck at work on Saturday. When I went out at lunch it seems like it might be almost warm enough to do something.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Puppy's First Hike

I'm a little late getting this posted... and it's our first post!  I hope I'm not setting a bad precedent. Maybe I can make up for it with some cute pictures. In the coming posts we'll introduce ourselves and tell you our story. For now here's the basics. I'm Kathy, and my mini dachshund puppy Athena is almost 4 months old. Egan is my best friend and his pup, Maru, is a Pitt Bull-Border Collie mix. We're adventuring buddies. We're training for bigger and longer hiking trips but speaking for myself, I'm in terrible shape. So, we're starting with baby steps and baby hikes.

Speaking of babies and hikes. This past Sunday was Athena's first hike.  The week before I had an epiphany. We were at my other best friend, Pony's house. The stairs up to his bedroom are very steep and I'd been too afraid to let Athena climb them by herself. Now, I don't mean unsupervised. I wouldn't let her climb them at all. I was afraid she'd fall. Pony had been giving me a hard time about babying her so much. As I explained to him, when I got her she was about 8 weeks old and she was so tiny and seemed so fragile to me. The more we grow together the more we both see how much she is capable of. She took after one of his Pitt Bulls and tried to climb the stairs when it occurred to me... If I'm terrified of her climbing stairs, indoors, and with me right there then how on earth are we ever going to hike to the top of mountains together?  That's when I realized I needed to let her do this.  She whined a little on the first few steps but eventually made it slow and steady up the rest of the stairs.

On her very first hike my little girl decided that she was the Trail Boss. We hiked around Holiday Park here in Indianapolis, IN. There are lots of stairs. Every time we stopped to decide which way to go at a fork in the trail Athena tried to pull us in the direction of stairs in her stubborn dachshund way. She lost the battle every time but she still got to do lots of Stairs. I only got one, not too terrible picture of the little Stair Master. It's hard snapping a picture of a puppy running up stairs when you're trying to chase her up those stairs yourself.

They weren't big stairs for the most part, except for one.  I was just about to lead Athena to a lower part of the step when I noticed her trying to jump up on a step that was at least 8 inches high on one side. Before I could help her she scrambled right up there. I was so proud of her.  I guess I didn't need to worry about her so much after all.

The first time I walked both dogs by myself I had a heck of a time with Maru. She needed a harness and Egan thought so too. Before we set off on our hike we took a trip to the pet store and spent quite a bit of time trying different harnesses on Maru before we found one that was just right. We also got her a backpack that will go well with her harness so she can get used to it for longer trips in the future. 

Here's Maru with her pretty (and handy) new harness.  She was sooooo much easier to handle.

After we came back Egan was trying to relax but two wild pups kept bouncing all over him while they were wrestling around with each other. Since three of Athena's dog cousins, including Maru, are at least part Pitt Bull, she thinks of herself as a some kind of Tea Cup Pitt Bull.  She'll figure it out after she spends more time with her three Dachshund friends. I snapped pictures while they played and got this adorable shot of the three of them. It would have been perfect if Athena's ear wasn't flipped back... but what can ya do with a floppy eared puppy.

 The doggy girls were finally tired enough from all the hiking and playing to allow me to get the one shot I'd been trying to get all day, both pups in one picture actually looking at the camera.  I love this picture.

Well that's all for now.  More soon.

- Kathy