The biggest thing this week was getting the dogs out to a river, complete with a small waterfall.
Roe is actually a pretty good listener, but this is why I definitely have to keep him leashed and why I like these super secure harnesses and climbing rope leashes for hiking. The next upgrade will be replacing the regular carabiners with locking ones. It allows me to give them room to explore slightly more treacherous terrain while still maintaining a level of safety. Even if they were to fall, the third strap on this harness means they won’t slip out of it. What you can’t see in the photos is the iron grip I have on the leashes and that the rope is wrapped/locked around my wrist and hand. Suki isn’t a big fan of water. She’ll dip her toes, and maybe wade around a little in calmer waters, but I’ve never had to worry about her near running water or waterfalls. Roe, on the other hand, has no fear of that stuff… You can see she thinks he’s crazy. He just loves to play in shallow running water, and he doesn’t have the life experience to be cautious of ledges and slippery rocks.
It was on this walk that I mentioned it feels like we’ve always had Roe. He’s like the yang to Suki’s yin, and while I like to joke that two Schips are three times the work he brings a balance to our dynamic that I didn’t know was missing.
In theory the water here should be pretty safe as far as fresh water goes. I usually prefer taking the dogs around salt water because you don’t need to worry about things like giardia, but I make an exception here. This river is actually where our drinking water is collected from. So if you’re on the coast, you might have drank water that Roe dipped his feet in. Sorry, not sorry.
One of the nice things about taking lots of pictures is that it gives me a new view of situations as I’m going through the photos later, similar to watching clips of your dog doing agility to check your form. At the time Roe seemed absolutely fine, excited even, being on this ledge (and for context, it’s actually only about waist height). This tongue flick and his ear positioning says otherwise.
He seems okay in the photos where I wasn’t kneeling down to get a dramatic angle. So a good thing to keep in mind when we’re out next time. 6-12 months can be a critical time where certain experiences can set lifelong fear, and I’d hate to push him too far past his comfort level. It’s not worth it for a cool picture.
And Suki? She’s looking great. I’m not used to seeing her with so much neck fluff. Or just such a full coat in general.