Thursday Pack Activities
Racer's tummy has been upset on recent hikes, but she was feeling better today. She happily drank some water from the CamelBak at various points along the way. Sputnik also partook, while Griff was good without. I was watching Racer closely, and suspect that the source of her upset stomach may be that she was nibbling on pine needles when I thought she was just avidly sniffing around before. I occasionally noticed her doing so a few times today, and quickly drew her attention away from the ground each time, to keep her from getting too much. I will be keeping a close eye on her to nip that habit in the bud, and hope that will address her perplexing string of sickness on recent hikes.
Avo and Riley were raring to go when we started our walk at the Bear Creek Path this afternoon. I was dreading an outing full of rowdy behavior, so I really focused on conveying calmness to the girls. I corrected them with a soothing tone of voice, and pet them with long, slow, massage-like strokes down their necks and backs. Riley's reaction was the most pronounced: she went from reacting to my every movement by jumping around me, to calmly sitting in place with sleepy eyes. Avo also settled down noticeably, and started laying down in front of me when we paused for a round of relaxation. Mamacita and Zoey also received the same kind of attention, though they were pretty calm to begin with. Along with a few bits of beef jerky to further reward their attentions, the dogs all grew more and more calm and in-sync through the walk. Riley and Avo still perked up quite a bit at the sight of a Australian Shepherd chasing a frisbee in an adjacent field, but I kept pausing and focusing on them with a calm demeanor, to bring them back to baseline. I realized that, lately, I've been letting my mind wander more when I am out with the packs. Hopefully, with a renewed mindfulness, I can better address some of the less constructive habits of our still-maturing pack members.