Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter Hike

One of the great things about the area where we live is that I can leave our house in Virginia, and after a ten minute drive and a fifty minute hike I can be standing on a cliff in Maryland looking across the Potomac River into West Virginia. This trail is called Maryland Heights and it is BRUTALLY steep. But you are rewarded with a spectacular view at the top. Both Winnie and I needed the exercise (I discovered that precisely half of us are woefully out of shape) and although it was cold, it was sunny and pretty pleasant once we got moving.

Most of the time when we're out, I am always training. I try to keep it fun, but we work on heeling rather than always letting her wander around - I put her in a heel when people approach or just every now and then. The rest of the time it's leash manners, and I throw in some other commands to keep her thinking. But I must confess, today I did not correct her for pulling on that leash uphill! I'm not sure I could have made it to the top without her assistance.

One more note. I'm not sure when the puppy 'terrible twos' starts, probably six months. She's definitely been testing me lately, wondering how serious I am with commands and whatnot. I think adequate exercise is a key, and I look forward to warmer weather and longer days so I can do more outside with her before and after work in daylight. But I do still want a snowfall, so I'm not ready to abandon winter just yet!

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