A popular pass-time around here with my friends is to go hiking in the woods. I live essentially in the middle of nowhere, and has certain advantages, like having a state forest full of inviting trails minutes from my house. Often, when my friends and I have little better ideas, we go exploring down those trails. It’s hardly advanced hiking—it’s more like walking in the forest and seeing what we find. Every time we go, we swear we find something new.
This time, we didn’t find something new. We just brought new friends.
I’m an animal lover, but in a cruel twist of irony, I am also allergic. I have a cat at home (who is the bestlittlekittycatinthewholeworld), but when she lays on my lap for too long, I start sneezing. And she’s small! So, when I hang out with my friends who have animals, I almost always have to have them over my house, or my allergies will kill me. But I still wanted to play with the dogs.
We decided, this time, to bring the dogs hiking with us while we explored. That way, I could play with the dogs and not sneeze myself into a coma. Win-win.
So, we did exactly that. Taking separate cars, we met at a path entrance. The dogs couldn’t wait to be out of the car and start exploring. I couldn’t wait to go with them.
Not having any dogs of my own, I am constantly impressed with the way dogs behave. They are very excitable, finding one thing to sniff here, then forgetting about it instantly and moving to the next. A stick is fascinating for a second, before a leaf steals their attention. In fact, we had to keep an eye on them to ensure they didn’t leave the trail!
They are smart too. My cat either doesn’t know her name or chooses to ignore it most of the time. If you call her name, the chance of her appearing is roughly fifty-fifty. Call a dog’s name, and they will stop what they are doing and come running. Tell them no, and they don’t try it again immediately after. They listen and obey. We didn’t have leashes, and had no need for them. If a dog strayed from the trail, yelling their name brought them back.
This may be old news to dog owners, but for someone like me, it’s amazing to watch.
When I move into my own place, I plan to get myself a dog with hair to cut down on my allergies. Every experience I have with a dog makes me want one more. Some day, some day.
Do you have dogs or cats? I’d love to hear some pet stories!