Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Taking Our Dog Tucker into a New "Wilderness"

In our family Eva gets the first walk of the day with our dog Tucker. The morning walk takes Tucker on the fringe of the wilderness down our side road.

Usually the morning walk is 2 mile round trip hike. Upon returning to our office Tucker takes a nap until after lunch time. Then around noon, My wife or I take Tucker on a walk down the side road for a much shorter walk so he can stretch his legs for a couple of minutes. After his mid-day walk he takes another nap until the late afternoon. Eventually Eva tries to coax me away from the office for a late-afternoon walk with Tucker. We take him into the wilderness, off all the roads, and only on the hiking trails.

When you are walking in the wilderness it is easy to see first hand how Mother Nature is getting everyone ready for the upcoming winter. All of the leaves on the trees are in peak fall colors, the grouse were on the trail eating trying to fatten up, and we saw some geese overhead flying. Tucker loves this hike because it is continually changing. Recently we have been seeing a grouse or two on the hike. Tucker usually sees the birds, stops, stares them down, then takes off full speed trying to catch them. He doesn't bark, or growl, just runs full speed. The grouse always see him and easily escape to nearby branches. Once they are safe in a tree, Tucker returns to the trail and eagerly waits for you to throw the next stick. Tucker's life returns to his normal routine.

This past weekend we took Tucker into a different “Wilderness”. It was a wilderness he had never seen before. We took Tucker to the Twin Cities. This was his first time into a city of any size. We were participating as a vendor in DoggiePalooza at Hyde Park, in Saint Louis Park. When we are getting ready to go on vacation, Tucker gets upset every time he sees us packing our suitcase. This time Tucker was going to join us, but no matter how we tried to get him to relax he didn't understand he would be joining us, until we let him jump into the car before pulling out of the driveway. We left "Our Wilderness" around 6:00 PM and didn't get to "Your Wilderness" until midnight.

When we got to our hotel room, Tucker immediately sniffed the entire hotel room. After the once over he decided that the bed we brought for him was unacceptable. He slept on the couch in our hotel room.

We got up early Saturday morning drove to Hyde Park and set up our booth. Tucker had never seen this many people at once. This was a foreign "Wilderness" to him. There were tables being set up, booths were being decorated, people we walking everywhere with their dog in tow. Dogs in all shapes and sizes were everywhere. A big giant Irish Wolf Hound was followed by a tiny dog being carried in a lady's purse. Needless to say Tucker did not get any naps in and was totally exhausted when we loaded up our booth into the back of our car and started the drive North. Tucker only woke up once on the drive home, and that was when we stopped for gas. Being a "New Wilderness" can be totally exhausting.

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