• suzjennifer62

First walk, before you climb

Updated: Apr 12, 2019

Getting to know our new puppy was the most wonderful experience, learning her quirks, memorizing her body language, understanding her moods. And the puppy breath. Oh, the sweet, pungent and undeniably emotion evoking puppy breath!

Winnie's first time walking on leash was up our private driveway, an environment known to be clean of any harmful pathogens like ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_parvovirus ) Parvo virus. She was willing and happy to walk and we could keep up with those short little legs cuz we discovered Winnie likes to go, go, go.

By the time Winnie had all her vaccinations and was protected as best we can provide from the hostile world, she was delighted to graduate from the boring driveway and out into the big world. With a puppy pouch incase Winnie grew weary and needed a lift, we set out to Taylor Mountain for a short hike. The sun shone brightly and the air was warm but not hot. We kept assessing Winnie's condition and she was all in so we took the trail to the top, a vigorous climb for the rewarding views. Nothing phased Winnie, she was interested in everything and keeping her out of the poison oak was the real challenge as she tried to experience the outdoors all at once. The sights, the smells, the sounds, Winnie drank it in. Her little mind gathered data, processed it, assigned value to it, filed it and moved on to the next interesting thing.

Up we climbed, and Winnie's pace never waned. At the top, we rested but Winnie's brain continued to work. What was under this rock? What was behind that bush? How do those winged creatures stay in the air? She was perplexed, challenged, and invited into the big world around her and she boldly forged on accepting the invitation.

Hiking with Puggle dogs at Taylor Mountain Regional  Park, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

The sun warmed quickly in the mid summer sky and we were grateful we had made an early start. Going back down the hill was much easier and Winnie's energy never let up, she was on her own power throughout.

That day we learned a lot about Winnie. We now knew she is brave, curious, has stamina it would seem could not be depleted. We also observed that Winnie is a team player, she likes to explore but enjoys the safety of the "pack".

I was certain at this point there would be many hikes in our future. I also knew we had barely scratched the surface of Winnie's personality. We had known Winnie a little over a month and could only imagine all the things which Winnie has continued to teach us about her. The puppy breath was already gone, but the memory of it is embedded in our minds, Winnie's essence resides in my heart next to her predecessor, Juno, but that's a Blog to be written another day.

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