Finnegan's First Hike8:18 PM
Prior to arriving in Arizona, one of the activities we were most excited about was all the fabulous hiking ventures that awaited us. We're hoping to go on overnight camping excursions with Finnegan while we're out west, but need to ensure he can handle it before attempting such a trip.
Today, we embarked on our first hike of the season and Finnegan's first hike ever: Silly Mountain!
The name sums it up perfectly--the mountain is very silly. The hike was child's play, lasting barely 30 minutes before we reached the top. The brevity of the trip played to Finnegan's favor, especially since he wouldn't drink any water prior to the hike and exhausted himself easily in the desert heat. The group of us (myself, Grayson, and our buddies Kendra & Alexis) giggled the whole time at our eager pup's need to rush ahead one moment, then running back to mommy and dramatically wallowing in his self-inflicted panting sprees. He'd snap out of his self-pity the moment we gave him water or right as he saw something interesting down the path he hasn't investigated yet. Finn perked up when we reached the top of the mountain too, just sitting with a stupid grin and enjoying the view.
The way up the mountain I kept him on a leash. Partly out of respect to the park's suggestion, and largely from my fear of him frolicking off the path and getting stabbed by the cholla. I mean, overall he's been great at avoiding cactus... it's just this one particular bush of jumping cholla near our campground that he seems to get in trouble with every time he passes it (once in the paw, then in the leg, next his lip and nose, oy vey!)
Anyway, on the way down the mountain we let him off leash because we were worried he'd tug and accidentally pull us down the mountain. There was also just the sense of trust that Finnegan would stay near us (as he always does) and on this off-leash period not only was he perfectly-behaved, but he didn't get stuck on any cholla (or anything else, huzzah!)
One thing I haven't mentioned on here yet is that we can no longer crate him because (despite our constant and MANY efforts) we can't stop him from breaking out of his crate. I swear he has thumbs.... next we're gonna try to utilize reusable zip ties to encapsulate the crate doors. Since we can't crate him at night these days, we're looking forward to our exhausted puppy sleeping through the night now after his exercise today.