It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, and we were headed to the Mt. Nebo State Park. Wanting to tag along, Dave gave us that look of yearning, as if to say….
“Can I go? I promise I”ll be good!”
Kurt was a bit skeptical. Actually, we were all a bit skeptical. We would have to keep him on a leash, and Dave is more of a free spirit kind of canine. He enjoys running, chasing birds and squirrels, and greeting most all neighborhood humans and dogs. When tethered to a normal collar and leash, he has been known to pull, tug, and has even figured out a way to twist his way out of said collar and leash, when his desire to do those things that free spirit dogs do has trumped his desire to please his people.
However, we had recently purchased a new dog harness from PetSmart. Having tested it out in the ‘hood, both Sabrina and I were fairly confident that it would prove to be a comfortable option for both Dave and us!
We started on The Bench Trail, which is a wide, four mile trek that encircles the mountain a few hundred feet below the top. We decided to start at the point where most folks finish, which is at the first parking area on the left before the state park entrance sign. Dave seemed content to amble along Sabrina’s side, although his ears did perk up a few times when a squirrel scampered in the woods.
About a mile into the hike, we decided to take a fork that leads up to the mountaintop. Dave enjoyed the challenge.
After reaching the top, we merged onto the The Rim Trail, and then, via the Summit Park Trail, found our way back to the Bench. This hike, with steep grades both up and downhill, was a bit taxing on the humans’ legs. Although he showed no signs of fatigue, Dave mustered up a bit of patience while we took a much needed break.
Finishing the final leg of our journey, we all agreed that our new hiking companion did an outstanding job! The harness, in spite of all the distractions, including people, animals, and cars, had somewhat of a calming effect on Dave. It’s as if he knew that escape wasn’t an option, so any effort towards that goal was fruitless.
Though he still would rather be a free spirit, I think he relishes in the fact that he has now earned a new title: Hiking Buddy!