The swim adventure continues

 I haven't had a lot of adventures to post because - like most of the country - we have been HOT and muggy.  Way too hot for any sort of hiking for Boxers! Plus, for my second week of vacation I had a lot of household projects to get done.  Which means Marc and I worked our butts off while Booker and Sisko laid in the shade and supervised. We have been able to make lots of trips to the beach.  Booker continues to LOVE the water.  He shows almost no fear.  Lake Ontario can be completely calm or extremely wavy depending on wind and other weather.  It doesn't matter - he goes in no matter what! However, he was doing what I know is the typical Boxer swim - which means trying to walk on the bottom with his back legs while slapping the water with his front legs. The last time we took him out, he was doing the same.  As he went for the toy I grabbed his mid-section and held him up so he began kicking with his back legs. That's all it took.  Look at him go!! View this post

4th of July tips

 Did you know more dogs go missing on July 4th than any other day. Fear is powerful and instinctual so when a dog is scared, he doesn't think rationally, he just reacts - which means RUN! HIDE! Fireworks and thunder often cause this.  I was relived that after several nights of fireworks including a neighbor setting off some LOUD ones, Booker had no reaction.  One of our cats stopped licking himself tonight to peer out the open window during the neighbor's setting them off combined with a full show from a nearby village, but Booker didn't even lift his head.   Whew. But what if you have a dog who has fear of thunder and fireworks? Well, you can buy items like a thundershirt , which helps with anxiety.  You can also buy calming chews online or even get a prescription from your vet. You can put your dog in a small room and play calming music. And always have your dog's collar on and he should be microchipped with current info just in case the worst happens, But the best cu

Castle Rock

 When I found out there was a mountain near our campsite called Castle Rock - as a massive Stephen King fan I knew we had to check it out! It was a smaller and easier climb than most mountains in the Adirondacks until the last section.  That involved scambling up bare rock, squeezing through rock passages, climbing up roots to get to the summit. Not surprisingly, the dogs were much better at this than the humans.  There were a couple places where we gave them an assist - not sure they needed it but we wanted to be safe.  One guy at the top had blood running down his arm from a fall and we saw a family where mom was sitting and crying because she had twisted her ankle.  If one of our boys had slipped and broken a leg??!!  I can't even think about it. We made it safe and sound to the top but readjusted their collars and made sure the leashes were secure as the top has a large rock outcropping and a fall would be deadly. We use the command "Wait" a lot.  That tells our dogs

More camping fun

 Today we woke up to bright sun and the promise of a much warmer day. This was our first time at this campground and we had lakefront access but it was rocky in that part of the lake.  We started the day with a walk to the end of the campsites and explored the trail at the end.  We were excited to walk to the lake and saw a large sand area. After lunch we hopped in the kayaks and paddled over to that area.  We "parked" and played for a while. With them sufficiently tired out we kayaked around the entire lake. That evening as we ate by the lake I was thrilled that we were able to let Booker wander around as we ate.  He sniffed all the trees, dug at the ground, marveled as a chipmunk ran down a tree right in front of him and stood by the lake watching several kayaker go by.   He came right back to us every time we called!!! It's always an amazing experience when your dog gets something! This was further reinforced tonight when we sat by the campfire.  Our "neighbors&qu

Booker's first mountain

 We made it through our first night nice and dry.  Booker woke up and started whining in the middle of the night - it was pitch dark and since he was in unfamiliar surroundings he was understandably nervous.  I called his name and he immediately went back to sleep. Today we headed right out to climb a mountain.  Blue Mountain was only about 20 minutes away. This proved to be a challenging hike.  Due to last night's rain it was muddy and slippery and involved some serious climbing.  This is a popular mountain, so Booker stayed on leash, but since Sisko has 100% reliable recall, I tied his leash into his backpack loops and I actually found he was great at showing me the best way up. We made it to the top but neither dog was terribly impressed - even with the view! After some snacks and a good roll around it was time to make our way back down. Tonight it was again a cold evening but without rain and wind so we had a campfire.  I thought for sure Booker would have some sort of reaction

Day 1

 We got the camper all pack and headed out this morning.  It really isn't that far to the campground, but it's all back roads and winds through the Adirondacks.   We pulled in and the dogs were happy to ve out-of the car.  But we had to open up the camper, unpack the car and put up the screen house.  Booker was extremely excited and wanted to run around and sniff everywhere.  We had "neighbors" and couldn't trust him not to head off and visit so he had to stay tied up.  Needless to say he is not used to this and was not happy. Once we had everything set up, we took them for a walk around the campgrounds.  This was great stimuli for the dogs - tons of people, kids, other dogs, campfires, cooking smells,  animals.  Even Sisko who is a veteran camper was entertained. This is the Adirondacks and it was windy and rain was moving in, so we ate in the camper.  The dogs climbed up into their bed and I covered them up and they both fell asleep.  It just started raining and

Preparing for camping

 As we prepare to leave to go camping I keep a list of things I need to bring for the dogs.  Of course, first is their food.  I pack their food in a convenient food safe dry bag .  A bag like this is easy to pack and carry with a strap.  It's almost the same as a kayak bag and keeps their food  safe and dry.  Because they will be out of their routine and exercising, I also pack wet food  and treats .  I like taking training treats to hand out when we're hiking to keep their attention and reward for good behavior.  I keep them in treat pouch that fits through the loop of my backpack.   Speaking of hiking, I made sure to pack their backpacks so they can carry some of their own gear.  It also helps keep them focused.  I put their food, dog bowls , poop bags, and another essential - Benadryl .  I always make sure to take Benadryl - it's safe for dogs (1 MG per pound of bodyweight) and in case they get bitten by bugs or have a mild allergic reaction it helps. Now, speaking of