|You might remember, we did the first half last year.|
I've been really relaxed about planning this trip (and by relaxed, I mean I've procrastinated all over the place and just don't care). I think that part of it is just experience: this is my third trip with a dog, and I've lost count of how many trips into the woods my dad and I have done. Also, I finally own pretty much all my own gear, which means that I don't have to try and scrounge up stuff from other places. Oh, and all my worry is being taken up by the huge trip my husband and I are taking in October wherein I have to find sitter for all six dogs PLUS not kill my husband because he still hasn't found us a hotel in Seattle (I suspect we will be sharing space with the Fremont Bridge Troll).
Anyway, I feel like Piper, Rubi, and I are about as well prepared as possible for one of these trips. I know what I need to bring for the girls, and what's okay to leave behind, how to hold the leashes so they don't pull under the doggie backpacks, and what commands to polish up before we leave. That's not to say we won't get eaten by bears or kicked to death by moose, because these things happen, but at least the parts of the trip that respond to planning are well in hand.
|Water proof boots for flooded trails? Check.|
One of the hard decisions that came with this trip was whether or not to bring Rubi at all. At the end of last year, we found out that Rubi has arthritis in her spine. Since then, she's been getting steadily stiffer after hard physical activity - things like playing ball, or chasing her big orange back, or biking. I'm certain that by going on this trip, Rubi is going to get sore. It's going to happen. But on the other hand, Rubi LOVED our trip last year. She thought is was a grand adventure, even though there was rain and bugs and she fell in a lake. So is the enjoyment she gets out of the trip worth the pain I know is coming?
I hate to anthropomorphize, but I think if I asked Rubi, she'd say she would rather go than stay home on the couch and be bored. I hope this isn't me projecting my feeling on her, because I feel the same way - I'd rather be out on the trail than sitting at home "taking care" of my knee. Rubi has always been an adventure-oriented dog, and I like to think we're similar that way. Our bodies are simply a method of transport from one adventure to the next, and if they get a little banged up in the process, well, that's how you know it was a good trip.
So here's to the adventure! May we never run out of pain meds . . .