Monday, June 30, 2008

just another manic monday

warm! 68 degrees at 5:30 this morning. not surprisingly, lots of people out & about. all good- dogs on leash where they should be, off where they could be. beautiful sunrise- clouds to make it pink and blue.

not so pretty- someone went four wheeling in the reserve. flattened bitterbrush & sagebrush, the trail is widened & torn up. i just don't get it. there was also trash that i couldn't get this morning- it was a running day, and i had small poop bags, not big albertsons haul stuff out bags. will get it tomorrow, if it's still there.

and now, off to start the day- happy monday all!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


didn't get out til 8 this morning- very warm! up to corrals, with water bottles in echo's pack.

one quick pet peeve- anyone who thinks it's ok to walk/ride/run/whatever 2 or 3 abreast when other people are clearly on the trail too. in this case- the road bikers who ride side by side up bogus basin road- come on, it's hard enough to safely pass single file bike riders in some places on this road, and although i am happy to share the road with bicycles, i don't expand that to include being happy to drive 10 mph behind them on a paved road.

been thinking about this most of the week, after being passed by women running 3 across on red fox- guess who had to shrink into the space of one person on the trail? right, me & the dogs- when we all could easily have passed two by.

i have moments of cluelessness, and need to be reminded sometimes not to do this very same thing, but it does seem like i spend most of my time getting out of other people's way. which reinforces that people will get out of their way. so i guess the thing to do is politely stay in a reasonable amount of space, while following proper trail etiquette (uphill gets right of way, etc.)

anyway- a beautiful, if warm morning. quite a few people out, and everyone passed nicely on the trail. i am so glad that i am training with paula and it is so nice to see the progress that the dogs(and i)have made and continue to make.

there is still water if you take the hard guy turn off. the dogs really appreciated it today! it was hot & dusty coming out, but a nice hike all in all. the trail looked good- thanks to corrals trail adoptors george & karen baker & june gregg for your hard work!


Saturday, June 28, 2008


when it's 61 degrees at 6:30, pretty good indication that the day will be warm. dopey me, i only took one water bottle. so we only went a bit over 3 miles. wonder when halle will decide that it's not so bad to drink from the water bottle. echo gladly opens up & lets me squirt water down his throat, but she looks at me suspiciously and trots off with her tongue hanging down to her knees. guess if she gets thirsty enough she'll figure it out.

no water to be found off of trail 1. just went a little past the gate, so i'm not sure how it looks farther back. saw a few people as we were going in, but they were all smart & on the way out already.

not sure what the flowers are. the pink ones are really tiny, and i see them everywhere. this is why i like to be on foot- i would never notice things like this otherwise.

leashes low again. talked to one guy who was carrying one of them- even tho his dog had no collar on- who said he thought they were free to take. guess he missed the part on the sign that says return.

also talked to some women going into the reserve from camel's back with a dog off leash. i mentioned the fines & the woman said- oh, i always leash her here before we go in the reserve. um, ok, there's a leash law that can be enforced in the park too.....

Friday, June 27, 2008

good to be home

every time i go out of town i am so glad to take my first walk/run back in the foothills. we are so lucky to have such a great resource. if we can stay focused on that, and remember that most of us who recreate in the hills feel the same way i think it gets easier to figure out how to share.
i am beat- in late last night, but wanted to share my appreciation for the trail system we have- and the fact that, tho it will be warm this weekend, at least it won't be 113 :) i would have to get up at 3 am to get a workout in if i lived in phoenix....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

dog lovers

another gorgeous morning!
15 piles opp between camel's back and the 9th st kiosk. another 7 piles between that kiosk and the trash can at the intersection of red fox & hull's pond trails. more (i quit counting) from that trash can to the one by the water towers. this on the trail that tracy said was clean on sunday morning.

perhaps poop enforcement on weekend days would be a good idea. trace said she counted about 16 piles yesterday, so i'm guessing that's when the bulk appeared.

we met holly in the off leash area and i let halle say hi. she gave her a little roll, maybe we can all be friends now.

i got an email from a woman who had a bad experience with a non dog person pulling out pepper spray and waving it at her little terrier who was just saying hi. in the end, it's best to remember that you don't know the person approaching you. they may be scared of dogs. if that's the case, doesn't matter size or breed, or if the approaching dog is the nicest, most lovable and gentle dog in the world. scared is scared. they may be highly allergic to dogs. they may just really not like dogs. if someone wants to meet your dog, they'll generally ask. it's about respecting other people.

i was reminded to heed my own advice this morning when i let halle say hi to a shorthair pup who was with a runner. the runner evidently didn't see the same happy goofy i just wanna play big puppy that i see- she looked apprehensive to see 100 lbs of hal come trotting over. note to self- always keep the dogs with me until i know it's ok. i usually do, this was a good reminder to continue that practice.

off to phoenix tomorrow and thursday. hopefully tracy & paula will post. if readers email pics and comments to i'll put them on the blog.

Monday, June 23, 2008


went earlier than usual this morning- and it was lovely. moon hanging over the hills, nice and cool. we even ran more than we walked- woo hoo! things looked good.

came across this guy and another, snarly little (well, 30-40 lbs) black dog- shaved with a fuzzy tail on red fox. no person anywhere near. collar and tags on the black dog- but i couldn't get close enough to check- she was growling at halle. probably turned out from a house somewhere in the area. this really annoys me for many reasons- and i don't need to go into them, but i would love to see a concentrated effort to round up roaming dogs and impress upon their owners that it's just not ok to open the door & let 'em go.

echo in his new summer do. learned yesterday that double coats work both ways- keep the dogs warm in winter, cooler in summer. so tho it may seem like a good idea to shave a double coated dog to keep them cooler it really does the opposite.

echo's cut is all about cheat grass. he was bringing it home in his face. not good to have near the ears or eyes, and hard to get every single piece while out. even tho i check between his toes after every excursion there was plenty in there yesterday when i shaved his feet. and he still has an inch or more of coat, hopefully that will keep him cool enough (as will hanging in the air conditioned house!)
off to start the week- have a good one!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


close to home this morning- grove up the cutoff to red cliffs, across the street & back on chickadee. getting busy- as usual for a hot day.
all dogs on leash where needed, off where ok, dogs & owners well behaved.
saw deer tracks in the soft dirt on the cutoff up to red cliffs.
most of the leashes are gone, and there was opp along the grove & red cliffs trails. we picked up as much as we could before running out of bags.
on the bright side, tracy reports that red fox is opp clear. (in part b/c little running pooping dog did it's biz on chickadee this morning)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

military reserve and history lesson

we checked out military reserve today. haven't been there in ages- probably 6 or 7 years.

first, i'm very glad that the group at reigning cats & dogs has worked with the city to figure out what sort of fence will work around the dog park & is raising money to get it fenced.

most people don't remember, but when we got the dog park approved there it was a big deal. all dogs had been kicked out of camel's back, which used to be a big off leash play area, and we had a dog march on city hall to point out that we needed somewhere for the pups to play off leash. mayor, council & bpr immediately let us have the lower flood retention pond in military reserve.

then came task force meetings- the first round was to get dog parks approved (there are 4 approved: 2 in use- military reserve flood retention pond & the one by morris hill cemetary; 2 to be developed- locations escape me.) The second round was to establish off leash trails and policy.

this was in the early 2000s. part of the reason that the other dog parks are not developed is that the city will provide the land, but the user group has to come up with the funding and we simply didn't have the organization to do that then. it's great that the i.hs has gotten involved ( in the case of morris hill) and that reigning cats & dogs is fundraising for military reserve.

i'm also really encouraged by the energy around the trails issue. it used to be that the same 8 if us would show up for poop scoops. it's much better now.

anyway- very nice walk/run this a.m. one nice thing about mr is that it's really open, so it's easy to see people coming & share the trail. also easy to keep an eye on the dogs. it was really busy this morning- lots of people out before the day heats up.

was very careful to watch for and follow on leash & off leash signs. if you make a point of looking, they are visible. my only little issue was down by cottonwood creek on the single track through the trees trying to pass another leashed dog. we got off trail. the trail is just narrow, and even well behaved dogs who just want to sniff & play a bit could get tangled up. i also wonder if it's better for the riparian area for the owner to walk to the creek with the dogs on leash (because if they need a drink, they need a drink). must be, or the rules would be different i guess.

i have to say that running down the single track with the big dogs on leash was interesting. would have been bad to meet a loose dog ( i would have been in the weeds) or a mt bike rider going very fast, because visibility is not good. guess that's when you let 'em go.

lastly- saw a bit of opp. more down low- the typical pile or two right by the trash can, but there was some higher up too. we need to stay on it! anyone who wants to volunteer to adopt a mr trail, let me know-

have a great day everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

leashes up!

all set, thanks to jodi peterson, windermere/richard b smith real estate, zamzows and ridge to rivers. this is jodi, who came up with the idea and jason smith who donated some of the leashes. jason's family used to own a lot of land in the gulch & he remembers horseback riding through the area as a child.

reminder that all dogs need to be on leash in parking lots- this is for their safety as much as anything. lots of congestion. dogs also tend to relieve themselves immediately out of the car- lots of excitement, etc. if a dog is leashed, it's pretty hard to miss an event. better yet- you're right near the bags & trash cans :)

it's also in the guidelines that dog owners have leashes with them even on off leash trails.

this is the parking lot at 10:30 am- on a warm day- i am always surprised at how busy the trails are, even at mid day. every dog we saw walk through the lot was on leash- good job folks!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


my dog trainer says it's not the running up with a back up that's a problem- it's the running up period. we'll have some more info from paula when we get the website going-

dog behavior 101

just a helpful hint- if your dog is approaching another dog with the hair on its back up, don't expect them to be welcomed warmly.

there is a guy who runs in the mornings with a little black lab. she false charges and growls at us whenever we see her. she is always off leash, we are on. some day we will run into each other when we are all off leash and i will let the dogs set her straight (by which i do not mean DOGFIGHT! i mean normal growling put you in your place back off). in the meantime, her owner seems to sort of know this isn't cool, because he will say "holly be good"- but sometimes she is, and sometimes she isn't and without a way to correct the behavior it's not going to change.

a couple of women this morning got their dogs off the trail to let some runners pass. i went by also. not quite she why they left the little black dog, who approached halle with his back hair up (i had echo, let halle go say hi), loose on the trail. he was a bit snarly, after we passed i heard the owner scolding him & telling him she was tired of his behavior. that probably won't do much to change things.

i have had a dog who was not very well versed in dog social behavior. she ended up spending the last half of her life on leash and away from other dogs (except for ours). it took a while for me to understand that even tho she didn't always charge once was enough, and if she wasn't 100% reliable she wasn't reliable at all. been there, know it can be hard to see.

decided i was not going down that road again, so with these guys i have invested time and money in training so that we can all be more comfortable. i have also come to the conclusion that i can never rely on other people to have a clue, it is really up to me to keep my dogs safe which is why we usually cede the trail. it is always a learning process, and we may not be perfect, but i strive to be and we keep working on it.

anyway- enough of that, except to say that i highly recommend paula mccollum as a trainer if you're looking for someone to help with better recall & general off leash behavior.

a lone blanket flower. i know these are wildflowers in some places, don't know if they're native here or if this came in with a bird, but they're pretty and cheerful.

i ventured into the scary trees this morning because i wanted to check out the roses- they smell so wonderful, and the bushes are just loaded! the cotton from the cottonwood trees is so thick that it looks like snow, so if you're one of those people who are allergic stay away!

beautiful morning- lots of runners, lots of dogs, lots of leashes, most very pleasant and polite.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

hump day

up first, the bullfrog symphony with the mallard ballet. it was great- i suspect it was a mallard mating ballet- they were making all kinds of flying and landing and skimming over the water moves. also saw a tanager, an oriole and lots of swallows.

i know that i'm preaching to the choir on this, my reasons for including are that a) i know lots of you don't use the really busy lower trails, so you may not see this stuff, b) peer pressure is going to help and c) if anyone else wants to help with pick up on red fox it would be great.

this is in the middle of the trail, and run over- probably by a runner and a bike or 2. the best way i know to address is just to ask the person is they need a bag. next step might be to ask if they know that enforcement will be ramping up when the ihs takes over, and fines are in the $100 range. i have seen more leashes in the mornings since i've been asking people if they know that enforcement is coming, and telling them what the fines will be. you could also just ask if they're concerned about maintaining access, and point them to this blog.

when i stopped to take a photo of the wild rose, i heard voices coming from the trees. probably people sleeping there again. cleverly deduced by the amount of cig butts in the area and the tracks through the vegetation. this is why i never come off chickadee through the pond if i'm alone in the a.m. i don't really care about people sleeping in there unless they have dogs with them that they're not picking up after. or that are causing other problems. sad, but true- a very narrow focus.

another beautiful morning. it's hard to get great shots when there are no clouds, but i tried! really pleasant people- a runner thanked me for being responsible when i was picking up after echo, another for calling the dogs back when i saw him approach, and 2 runners with leashed dogs thanked me for keeping the pups with me when they went by. a vertitable lovefest for the responsible dog owner :) positive reinforcement is a wonderful thing!

busy day again- 4 or 5 dogless runners/groups; 12 other dogs with their people, 3 groups of mt bikers.

on the downhill to friday now- have a great day!