Today my dog and I discovered one of our new favorite hiking spots in the Hudson Valley! Not that it’s a new spot – it has been around for years – but it’s one we have never experienced before. A chance traffic detour from one of our go-to hiking spots landed us here – it must have been fate! I’m talking about Black Creek Preserve on Route 9W in Esopus – one of Scenic Hudson’s little-known gems.
From the moment we started on the trail, we were welcomed by a wooden trellis and a little further up, a pretty impressive suspension bridge. I felt like we were in a movie! Black Creek on one side, the expanse of nature surrounding – it was perfect. The trail was very well-marked and easy to follow (a trait of all Scenic Hudson trails). The park had some inclines, so we did get a bit of a workout, but the openness of the dirt trails made the experience so pleasant (perfect for someone who doesn’t want to wade through waist-high grass and brambles). And the fact that the trail is all shaded is another big plus in my book – especially for hot summer mornings. Just watch your footing – the abundance of natural shale along the trails means that there are occasionally some loose rocks and gravelly spots.
Are you planning a summer getaway? Is your best four-legged friend serving as your co-pilot, cohort, and travel companion? If you’ve made the decision for your dog to join you on your vacation, be sure to look at traveling from your dog’s perspective so you can set her up for success on your trip. The last thing you’d want is to get to your destination and have an incident out of “Marley & Me” occur when you’re so far from home. It kind of puts a damper on VACATION!! So plan ahead…
Here is a list of just some beautiful places that are off the beaten path, which offer peace, lovely views, and a lot of fun for dogs and their humans alike…
OK, I really needed to write a blog post about this because it is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. EVER. I know I am always running into people who allow their dogs to roam free, off-leash, whether if it is on a hiking trail or right in the center of town. I also know that there are some countries where this is not a problem (see my recent post on the dogs of Costa Rica). But here in America, there are way too many factors that can create problems by having your dog off-leash and I respect that leash laws are in place for a reason. When I read stories like this one below, about a poor dog that was killed because another irresponsible and ignorant pet owner let their dog wander off-leash, it really makes my blood boil.
It doesn't matter whether your dog is a Labrador Retriever, a Pomeranian, or a Pit Bull (as in this case, which unnecessarily puts a mark in the "reasons why people have a problem with Pit Bulls" column) - ANY dog can bite or attack if the circumstances are right! A dog can bite out of fear, an extremely high prey-chase drive - there are so many reasons. And in this case, an owner's ignorant mistake was a fatal one. It also doesn't matter how well-trained you think your dog is - dogs make mistakes just like people do and there could always be a circumstance where a dog doesn't make the right choice. Do you want to be held responsible for a bad choice on your dog's part as a result of your laziness and carelessness? In this case, the owner of the dog who attacked Wallace didn't even take responsibility and fled the scene - which means she's still out there to let the same thing happen to another unsuspecting victim.
PLEASE, PLEASE keep your dogs on leash in public, and share this post so others will understand how important it is too. Together we can stop horrible instances like this from happening, but it's all about awareness and understanding what it means to be a responsible dog owner!
Read Wallace's story HERE...
There are no formal statistics on how many dogs in the U.S. die of heatstroke each year, either due to being left in a hot car or other circumstances, but one thing is certain: these deaths can be avoided if we humans just take the right precautions to protect our four-legged friends. While there are other heat-induced illnesses - such as clotting disorders as a result of heatstroke, like disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), which is a bloating condition that is considered a surgical emergency, according to Dr. Alisha Selzner of Companion Pet Hospital in Fishkill – heatstroke and heat exhaustion are potential causes of these issues.
My husband and I just returned from an amazing anniversary trip to Costa Rica. This Central American country is known for its west coast beaches, laid-back lifestyle, many volcanoes and wildlife adventures – all which we took part in happily. And in fashion to my true nature, we were in the country for less than 2 hours before I had my first interaction with dogs – Costa Rican style!
Upon driving into the town of Coco, I was pleasantly surprised to see how the dogs of Costa Rica spend their days, as it’s very different than it is here in the U.S. (Though I don’t really know why I was surprised – it’s this way in several of the other countries I have visited too). There are no leash laws in Costa Rica, so most dogs have the ability to roam free as they please. Many homes leave their doors open but have fenced yards with gates that close if they choose to keep their dogs inside their property line at night. But during the day, most dogs can be seen happy-go-luckily wandering about town.
Maria Huntoon, CBCC-KA