• Shannon

Tongue Out Tuesday & Solace Found

Last weekend I was thrilled to be able to do a short hike.  It was breezy, sunny and in the low 60s.  Absolutely gorgeous weather for Florida.  My husband had just returned from a business trip so I was ready to get out of Dodge, if you know what I mean.  A week with kids and no back-up is rough.  Siren hadn’t been hiking for a while so I decided it would be just me and the pup.  Cairo was not happy about this, as she is usually my co-pilot.  Sometimes they need one-on-one attention, though, especially when they are youngsters.

It was so beautiful out and the wind felt cool on my face.  It’s the kind of weather I wish we had all year round.  I rolled the windows down a little, cranked up the radio and enjoyed the ride to the trail head.

Great song!

Cute puppy!

There were about three cars in the parking area and some bikers were preparing for their ride not far from us.  Even though we have no mountains, we do have some mountain biking trails with little hills and such.  The biking trails intersect the one we like to walk so we make sure we have our bells on so they can hear us as they move pretty fast.  There are some points on the trail where it gets pretty narrow, so you want to make sure you are heard in these spots.

Siren all suited up with her reflective orange vest and GoPro camera.

I did bring the good camera and got this nice shot of Siren just before we headed out:

Siren, 9 months.

She was tethered to the car here.  There’s no way I would off-leash it anywhere around here.  She’s nowhere close to being ready for that and it is actually a pretty populated area for the first mile or so of the trail.  Plus there is a leash law.  So far everyone we’ve encountered on the trail here has abided by this law, which is nice.  There isn’t much I despise more than loose dogs on the trail (or anywhere for that matter) that are untrained.  If they aren’t reliable–meaning they don’t respond to your voice commands the FIRST time, every time–for goodness sake, don’t have them off lead.

Our friends over at DZ Dog Adventures did a post recently about the hiking off-lead with dogs.  It is definitely worth a read.

We don’t get to see many leaf changes here in Florida, so I thought this small patch of color was nice.

Palms, palms everywhere.

We only did about 2 miles since Siren is still young yet.  She showed no reaction to wearing the GoPro but I need to start putting a pack on her.  She walks well, doesn’t pull much and responds well to verbal and physical cues.  She is getting better about not crossing directly in front of me.  We also did some moderate slopes (by “slopes” I mean the ground just slopes slightly) so she could get used to the ground not always being flat.  You really have to hunt for sloping ground in Florida.  The Ocala and Clermont areas are probably the best areas for this, but we found some small spots with which to practice on the sides of the trail.  She did great and showed no hesitation when the terrain changed.

There is something incredibly soothing about being out in the woods, looking ahead and behind you and seeing no one else.   Though we did see a few others that day, the majority of the time we were alone.  Those on bikes sped by quickly and were gone.     I decided I need to work Siren with bikes more, as she was a bit unsure about them.

I am working on putting together a little video of our hike.  Hopefully I’ll get it done in time for Wordless Wednesday.   Stay tuned!  In the meantime, here is our Tongue Tuesday offering for the week:

#hikingwithdogs #tongueouttuesday #dogs #tonguetuesday #floridahiking #hiking #canecorso

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