Created from 6 pictures from Giant Ledge









Hiking with Pets

Sheba

I lost my best hiking partner on December 7, 2012. Sheba contracted Lyme disease and it became increasingly hard for her to get around. I still miss her very much and will always remember what a loyal friend and hiker she was.

If you have looked at any other pages on this site, you will know that my dog Sheba LOVES to hike. I LOVE to have her along in most cases. She is very intelligent and friendly. She obeys a long list of commands specific to hiking; Go up. Walk nice. With me. Find mom. As far as we can tell, she is part German Shepherd and part Collie. As you can see, she has the shepherd markings and the collie's long hair. She scouts out ahead a certain distance but then comes back to the last person in line to see if they are okay. This is the herding instinct.

She has climbed rocks that have given me trouble and I have only had to boost her once on the Long Path at Castle Point. She does get anxious descending steep areas where she cannot easily see the ledge below. She also has an aversion to crossing bridges with space between the elements that make up the floor.

On mornings when I am getting ready to hike I try to hide the fact until the last minute. I lay my clothes out and pack my pack the night before. As soon as Sheba sees us getting ready, she starts a high-pitched whine that is impossible to ignore. She also starts running a round the house getting in everyone's face, jumping and spinning. When we let her out she goes straight to the car and begins to "do laps" until we let her in.

Insect Bites

I have taken her to Bear Mountain and Harriman Parks where there are deer ticks. I have removed several deer ticks and wood ticks from her. She has had a course of antibiotics and we now treat her with Advantix which seems to work well.

Water and Food

During the warm weather, I make sure that sure that I carry plenty of water for all the people on the hike AND for the dog. She also likes a little snack so I carry some dog bones and some treats. I always bring a collapsible bowl and her leash.

Clothing and Equipment

We usually tie a blaze orange cloth around her neck. This shows she is with someone and is particularly important during hunting season. Currently I am considering getting her a pack. I don't know how she would like it and it is not necessary so I am holding off for now.

Cold Weather

During the cold and snowy weather, snow and ice tend to build up in the area between Sheba's toes. This doesn't seem to cause injury but it does annoy her. The fact that she likes to walk through water doesn't help! I was considering a good quality boot but I am pretty sure she would hate that. The next time we go out I am going to try Musher's Secret wax which several people have recommended. Others swear by Bag Balm or Paw Protector Pro. I wonder if a spray of vegetable oil would do the same thing.

Sheila

I have a new hiking partner now! Sheila is a yellow lab with some husky and boxer thrown in. She is a very different dog than Sheba but has become a very good hiker and friend.

If you have looked at any other pages on this site, you will know that my dog Sheila LOVES to hike. I LOVE to have her along in most cases. She is very intelligent and friendly. She obeys a list of commands and hand signals specific to hiking; Go up. With me. Trail. Find mom. Looking at her you would think she is a yellow lab but the husky in her gives her a longer coat which better adapts her for winter hiking. She is definitely a bird dog but likes to chase squirrels and chipmunks also. She is always following her nose and often is off trail following a scent. She is very quick to return when I call her. She often brings back partridge ALIVE and drops them at my feet.

She has climbed rocks that have given me trouble and when I look for her she is often above me looking down. If I take some time on a difficult ascent, she will often climb down and back up several times. She has no problem climbing ladders or open stairs and no problem going back down.

On mornings when I am getting ready to hike I try to hide the fact until the last minute. I lay my clothes out and pack my pack the night before. As soon as Sheila sees us getting ready, she smells to clothing to make sure it is our hiking gear. She then stays very close to us until we are ready to walk out the door. Sheila will run directly to the car and wait until I open the back door so that she can get in.

Insect Bites

The tick problem seems to keep getting worse and worse and is not limited to certain areas any more. I have removed several deer ticks and wood ticks from her. This is despite that fact that I keep her Advantix up to date. She has had the Lyme vaccine but each time I find a tick I make sure she has a course of antibiotics.

Water and Food

During the warm weather, I make sure that sure that I carry plenty of water for all the people on the hike AND for the dog. She doesn't seem to care much about snacks on a hike and doesn't drink as much as Sheba did. She does like to jump into any body of water she can find. I always bring a collapsible bowl and her leash.

Clothing and Equipment

We usually tie a blaze orange cloth around her neck. This shows she is with someone and is particularly important during hunting season. Currently I am considering getting her a pack. I don't know how she would like it and it is not necessary so I am holding off for now. I often put an electronic training collar on her. I was using one from Outstanding Pet but it did not hold a charge very long and did not seem to be completely waterproof. The Garmin model that I have now stays charged MUCH longer and has setting for tone, vibration and shock. I seldom use the shock setting since the others are so effective.

Cold Weather

Cold weather does not seem to bother Sheila. Snow and ice between the toes does not seem to be a problem for her. The husky in her gives her a longer coat and a love for the snow. She is very good at pulling!

Bodies of Water

Sheila LOVES to jump into the closest stream, pond or lake to splash around and swim. She is an accomplished swimmer and I have worried a few times that she was out too far in the water. She likes me to throw a stick that she can retrieve by swimming to it. The water temperature doesn't seem to matter. After she has been swimming, she likes to dash madly along the shore and up and down the trail! Cindy thinks she is just trying to dry off but I think it is mostly pure joy!