Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

A “tail” of two Golden Retrievers (and their humans)as they travel west:

Day 14, Morning hike, Sunrise Canyon Trail

Sue and I have both noticed that MJ seems to have become more active lately. I’m not suggesting he pops up early in the morning when everyone else does, he doesn’t. He still grunts at the fact he has to walk down 15 stairs to go outside at 5:30 am to do his thing and the fact that he can’t do it alone probably bothers him, I know it would me. Life is tough for MJ in ways he never imagined however he has a spring in his step that we haven’t seen in some time.

What he is doing though is enjoying all the hikes we have been taking him on. This past Sunday while Sue was hiking with Michelle and her friends, I took Bobby and MJ up the back side of Mount Sanitas. I knew we wouldn’t make it to the top as it eventually becomes too steep and rocky for MJ but I wanted to see how far he would make it. What Sue and I call the back side of Mount Sanitas is probably not called that but for these tourists, we know what the other is referring to when we identify this particular trail that way so for us, the back side of Mount Sanitas it is.

Up to this point all of the walks we have been on, MJ has been on leash. Bobby on the other hand needs to burn energy so he gets to run around and be off leash. When I took Bobby and MJ on this particular hike I decided to take MJ off leash. He ran and wrestled and met other dogs, he was having a blast. The trail is quite benign, more like a steep dirt road before it becomes a path in an open field. I thought once we came to the steeper part MJ would want to turn around. He continued up at times he was actually trotting up the hill. We actually made it quite high when I decided it would be best to come back down. In total we hiked just under 4 miles and ascended over 700 feet. For MJ, quite remarkable.

This morning, based on MJ’s performance that day Sue and I decided to drive to another trail head, let the dogs off leash and see how it would go. To our amazement MJ was walking/trotting well ahead of us and keeping up with Bobby. It was a chilly but clear morning with a sharp westerly breeze. The trail gained only 350 feet over the 1.25, mile out and back, (2.5 miles total), making it an easy choice to allow MJ off leash. Once we returned to the trail head, we decided to go up another adjacent trail which was much steeper but a shorter distance. MJ did remarkable.

Bobby loving Sunrise Canyon Trail

Bobby loving Sunrise Canyon Trail

MJ feeling like a mountain dog

MJ feeling like a mountain dog

As it stands right now the exercise/hikes have improved MJ’s current physical ability. You can probably pretty well guess what the other 21 hours of MJ’s day is comprised of but that’s ok. As for now, the cool mountain air hikes are paying off and we are having fun watching a more youthful MJ enjoy his time away.