Tuesday, September 30, 2008

back in boise

so good to be back in the land of high & dry! work started with a bang before 6 am, so we got our walk later in the day.... and it was warming up (both dogs panting on the floor when we got home). nice walk, though, and a surprising number of people out at 10:30 am.......

dogs leashed where they needed to be...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

poop scoop wrap-up: thanks to all!

a huge thanks to everyone who took time out of a beautiful saturday morning to pick up poop and trash to keep our trails clean!! also, thanks to the IHS and officer gibson for setting up a command post at military reserve for volunteer poop scoopers; to gail and tom for manning the boise trail DOG table and coordinating which trails needed the most TLC; to the folks who donated prizes for the raffle; and to the anonymous men who helped us figure out how to take down the trail DOG tent. :) seriously, that should not be rocket science, but somehow today it was!

participation in the poop scoop was a bit sparse. getting rained out last weekend is partly to blame, no doubt. but it was a great day to sit outside in the fresh air, and the event did get a little media coverage. the volunteers did a great job cleaning trails and reporting back about what they'd found. we had nice conversations with a lot of folks (some of whom signed up for email updates about trails issues), suggested fun bike trails for some out-of-towners, and petted some darling, well-behaved dogs. :)

if you weren't able to attend today's event, we hope you'll spend a little extra time cleaning up your favorite trail anyway. every little bit helps!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

pet peeve

wasn't going to post today- you will notice i took no photos- got home at 8 last night, heading out this afternoon again & lots to do in between. but- walking with halle & echo on chickadee ridge, and they both stop & look back at me, letting me know a dog is approaching. so i called them, saw a huge dog in the sage, got well off the trail & when i saw the owner said "i'd appreciate it if you'd keep your dog away from us".

turns out it was augie the akita. this is the dog that stood smack in the middle of the trail a few weeks ago with his head lowered, shoulders & ruff up watching us. when i was really glad to have halle leashed so i could keep her from charging, b/c even tho it's a play charge, it's still a threatening move and the outcome could have been ugly.

so, when he said "why, are they not friendly?" i said "no, actually your dog had his head down & his back up last time we ran into you on the trail, and i don't want to take any chances."

it doesn't matter why i don't want someone's dog to approach. should be enough to ask.

anyway- otherwise, a lovely walk, nice to be back in the hills after 2 days of walking on the trail in hailey in freezing weather (and dogless).

now- off again- back next tuesday-

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

dog trails update from david gordon

Hi Marianne -

Chuck and Jim asked me to touch base with you regarding the agenda items with respect to dogs at next week's FCAC meeting.

Polecat Gulch Policy: The Ridge to Rivers Sub-Committee of the FCAC is recommending that the Polecat system be open to dogs, but all trails there will be on-leash. The FCAC will decide whether to adopt this recommendation or formulate another. Rationale for recommendation is based on following factors:

  • Aase's Onion habitat - The area actually has far more onions than originally thought. Idaho Fish and Game biologists recommend that dogs be kept on leash in the Reserve from February through May to minimize disturbance to flowering plants (when they are most vulnerable).
  • Wildlife Habitat - The Polecat Reserve contains a healthy herd of deer that move between that area and Dry Creek. Disturbance to these animals will be minimized by having dogs on leash.
  • Social Factor: We received a number of requests to consider leaving this area closed to dogs, to provide a dog-free trail experience for those desiring such. We felt that this was too stringent a measure, especially in consideration of dog owning west Boise residents. The sub-committee feels that requiring dogs to be on-leash will largely prevent unwanted dog-human encounters on the trails, while still allowing for a dog experience in the Polecat Reserve.

The FCAC will wait until November to decide how to proceed with any dog policy changes on the remainder of the Ridge to Rivers system. They will utilize information gathered from Idaho Humane Society officers over the 2 months that they will have been patrolling (by then), to help formulate any decisions. An IHS employee will be on-hand at next week's meeting to provide an update on their patrols.

Please feel free to share this information with your peers!

dgDavid GordonRidge to Rivers Trails CoordinatorBoise Parks and Recreation Department

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

saturday's poop scoop - spread the word!

does your office have an intranet or blog or bulletin board where employees are encouraged to post information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities that may be of interest? if so, how about letting coworkers know about this saturday's poop scoop? details are conveniently located on the left-hand sidebar of this blog. the more, the merrier: having a large crowd show up to clean trails sends a strong signal that we are willing to work hard to help maintain off-leash trail access for everyone. if you can't make it to either the lower hull's gulch trailhead or to military reserve, please take some extra time to care for the trail you're on.

i hope to see old and new friends at the poop scoop!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sunday the 21

went up to trail 1, which is sandy & i figured would be OK to walk on. it was damp, but drained, not muddy. this is as bad as it got- from me, 2 dogs & 2 mt bike groups. i'd like to know if this is ok, or if even this much of a track is a problem- we didn't leave ruts, everyone stayed on trail, etc.

been talking lots about staying off muddy trails lately, i wouldn't consider this muddy, but i'd sure like to know if i'm wrong.

it was a beautiful morning. nice & cool, the overcast a nice contrast to the color of the hills.

still a few flowers blooming too. the yellow of the sunflowers also nice against the sky.

this little yellow flower was by the side of the trail, the one below growing in the middle of the trail.

then we went & met a friend at the dog park at morris hill. the dogs had fun running around there too. completely different experience though. we hiked first because i wanted my exercise. dog park doesn't give me that. it also doesn't seem to engage the dogs as much as far as interest in checking out smells (and sampling the poop smorgaboard available on the trails). good for socialization (canine and human) & training though.

both trails & dog parks are important, but mostly different user groups, and definately for different purposes.

have a great week!

i am gone until tuesday the 30th. please send me pics or things to post on the blog (idswissy@yahoo.com). tracy, margie & paula should post, but i'd love input from you guys as well.......

happy trails-

Friday, September 19, 2008

arrrrrrrrrgh! matey!

it's international talk like a pirate day- most of our dogs go "arrrrgh" sometimes, don't they?

what an incredible sunrise! so i took lots of pics to share- and was reminded, yet again, of how great it is to have these trails so close in to be able to use....

loved the ray of light shooting up in this one:

7 with, one without, all good. this gal called her dogs in & had them run on her right side when she saw me leash up, talking to them to keep them close the whole way by. when i thanked her & told her we were training she said us too. it's a great thing. and halle had a romp with ginger again. ginger's mom finds halle puppy uncoordinated big white feet flying all over approach amusing, thank goodness :)

have a great weekend! hope to see many of you tomorrow at the poop scoop!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

out with halle at noon update

blonde woman running down red fox at 12:40. 2 black labs. one name sounded like trout. both off leash in the on leash area. both behind her (hence calling the one). to her credit, she did get them close to her when she saw me with my leashed dog in the on leash area, but when we were by she took off, the dogs ran down into the weeds & popped back up on the trail in front of a mt bike. good thing said biker wasn't flying down the trail.

and hopefully dog mom goes back & scoops opp, because she couldn't see what her dogs were doing.

it was warm. otherwise, peeps were paying attention.


another lovely sunrise. echo walked right by 3 other dogs on leash on the trail no problem b/c they too were leashed & not lunging. love it. when we went by the lab (leashed) who did lunge at us, he made a move, but thought better of it when corrected. it would be very hard for anyone to sneak up on me if i was paying attention to my dog- he lets me know about runners, bikers, other dogs long before i have a clue they're coming.

thinking about trailpalooza this weekend and a few things occur to me.

Nichole & Josh, who helped in the booth in the afternoon, got involved in Boise Trail DOG because they specifically trained their dog to be good on the trails and don't want to lose access because other people haven't done that work. They appear to be college students, or shortly out of college, so we're not talking people with lots of cash to throw around, but this is something that was important to them.

i also invested (and continue to invest) time & money in training my dogs to be good citizens, partly because i feel like i failed tara ra bouvier by not understanding how much training helps. it makes the dog more confident and comfortable, it makes me the same. it also strengthens the bond between dog & owner and enables us to take our 4 leggeds out in the world with us.

the other thing i noticed was how many dogs were just horrible on leash. no wonder people hate leashes! if an 80- 90 lbs dog (even my parent's 30 lb schnoodle when i was a kid) isn't leashed trained it can be a nightmare. i saw people being drug over to meet other dogs (whether the other dog & owner wanted it or not), being hauled all over the park to check out things, it would have made me really grumpy.

which reinforced my belief that most dogs (and owners) are happier trained.

the key is to find a trainer and a training method that works for both of you. my friend who does rescue spends time with every new dog in the back yard with a long line working on recall. repetition til they get it. i do not do so well with repetitive activity, but can be very consistent. paula's method of training with an e collar is working out great for me & the pooches.

the big thing is- you do have the power!

9 with, 6 without

and a story- we were walking home and saw a woman, a little girl (cute in her dress- probably about 4 years old) and a bouncing fluffy puppy. so i said- "how cute! how old?" and the woman said "which one?" and i said "the puppy!" without even realizing until it came out of my mouth that perhaps i should have censored and said "both" or something....... but i really was more interested in the dog......

happy wednesday- it's all downhill from here!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

full moon tuesday

i wish i could share the audio that went with this photo- the birds were in fine voice, many of them joining in. maybe the result of the full moon?

another lovely fall morning.

6 with, 5 without, all good

we met ginger the vizsla coming up chickadee, and since we met before & knew it was ok, let her & halle have a romp- i think they both wanted to play longer! echo gave her a nice greeting too- and tried to play- i love watching him jump straight up in the air & come down in a play bow while wriggling his big hairy body the whole time- call it the bouve dance- other dogs don't quite get it tho.

ah well.... have a great day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

monday the 15

first- to the person who left a comment yesterday & a link to your blog- i accidently deleted, please send again.

another nice morning- crisp, not cold,beautiful sunrise.

this nest is in a russian olive tree off red fox. you can't really tell from this pic, but it's sort of a ball hanging down from the branch- i think maybe a hummingbird nest? but it seems kind of big for that-

more trees starting to turn- be time to make the drive to find aspen trees soon (that's what comes from growing up in colorado- the maples, oak, etc look sort of- loud- tho pretty. what i really love are the gold and copper stands of aspen)

the moon was incredible-

5 with and 1 without.
have a great day!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


thanks to jodi for including us; to tracy, ginger, sara, nichole & josh for coming out & working; john caywood & dave beck for supporting appropriate dog use and wanting to add an off leash area to the eagle park.

also thanks to the folks from swimba & the other mt bike groups who raise money and do trail work on this system that benefits all of us.

we had a great day in the sun, got lots of names to add to the email list and started some good conversations with folks about how to work together to improve the trail experience for everyone.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

saturday sept 13

c and i walked a bit later. so now you see how my favorite spot looks at a different time of day :) pleasant walk, other than avoiding loos dogs in the on leash area- tho the owner was arrying a poop bag, which is good.

post tomorrow will be late- will be at trailpalooza all day- after an early out with the pups....

Friday, September 12, 2008

friday! wheeeeeeee

here i am, the broken record (in a good way)- another beautiful morning, another great start to the day!

would like to thank the bpr employees who keep us in poop mitts, haul out the trash (and dog poop), maintain trails & are always pleasant when I meet them.

moderately busy morning- 6 with, 5 without.

saw a fox on the ridge, met up with a gal who was telling me about how her dog chases the fox, but as smart as her dog is, the fox is smarter- they always get away. didn't see the chasing as a problem. she was very nice, reasonable, had her dog leashed and had evidently never considered it might be kind of scary for the fox to have dogs chase it.

yesterday, i picked up mutt mitts from david gordon to use at trailpaolooza (thanks david). as we walked to the shop, 2 dogs came darting out from under a pickup parked at the flc. (foothills learning center). later found out that some guys pulled up, got on their mt bikes & went for a ride, leaving the dogs not tied up and with no water. dogs mostly hung out under the truck, but did run up to passers by.

i think that the dogs went to the ihs, along with a huge malamute that the pet patrol found wandering with no owner in sight.

nice to have the pet patrol available to handle that kind of stuff.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

note from david gordon

excerpt from an email from David GordonRidge to Rivers Trails Coordinator (David also gave us kudos us for organizing the poop scoop) with his permission: (italics, bold added by me, blue my comments)

As an FYI, I was asked to take another look at some of the locations that Julia flagged poop piles last spring. Rich and I did this separately at the end of August, and found the following numbers -

David's: All numbers include a mix of older and newer piles of waste. In most cases, the number of piles have dropped significantly. They are as follows:

Kestral Trail next to Hulls Gulch Trailhead: 13 piles
Lower Hulls Gulch Trail at Hulls Gulch Trailhead: 19 piles
Cottonwood Creek Trail at Trailhead: 38 piles
Corrals Trail at Bogus Basin Road access: 47 piles (this is the access right on the road, across from the pull out, not the parking lot)
Old Pen and Table Rock Loop Trails at Old Pen Trailhead: 20 piles
Crestline Trailhead: 0 (thank you forrest & other crestline opp patrolers!)

Rich's numbers:

toll road 47, 25 before the trash can 0 in the parking area

old pen 42
table rock trail 17
parking area 7

if anyone wants to sign up to adopt any of the trails with higher numbers, please let me know. idswissy@yahoo.com

would be good places to target on the 20th.

september 11

first, thinking about 9-11-01 while in the reserve this morning.

it's a good place to meditate.

3 with, 0 without. all good & following the rules. back with halle at noon- we ran (sort of- better get back to it!)

getting all set up for hyde park street fair this weekend-

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

maintaining access all over town

another gorgeous start to the day.....

fall is showing up in small ways- the nice crisp air and starting to bloom rabbit brush, the first touch of color in the trees. my absolute favorite time of year- nice and cool at night, pleasantly warm during the day- and the light is fabulous.

still a few flowers blooming here & there- sunflowers, some asters & these (evening?) primroses.

8 with, 3 without, all good.

the pug has a very cute new leash to match her collar..... success calling halle back in time for her not to charge a dog coming up chickadee. stopped & chatted with steve & teschka & all dogs sat nicely & behaved.

everything was great- working as it should- until we left the park. going out camel's back, saw 2 mt bike riders (women) with an out of control- maybe labradoodle- young dog. we crossed the street, being leashed & not wanting to be charged. there's only so much that it's fair to expect a dog to take.

the dog changed direction and came running across the street toward us. i called to the gal to please call her dog. and got a strange look b/c echo lunged when the dog got too close.

i don't understand the big aversion to leashing. never have. it's a tool to keep dogs safe (many is the time i have seen dogs rush across the street where it was really fortunate that there wasn't a car coming, because no way were they responding to the owner calling them).

it's also a way to show respect for others. for a variety of reasons not everyone wants to have strange dogs approach them. and that's their right. if we want the right to take our dogs with us more places, we need to respect that.

talking with a friend about the market's ban on dogs. she has dogs, but doesn't take them out & couldn't understand why people are so upset about the market's position. it's a 4 hour market- why can't you just leave your dog at home?

i will agree that there are times (in the heat of the summer) and places (the food stalls) where it isn't appropriate to have dogs. and to my friend's point, many of the dogs look less than thrilled to be in a big crowd in such a busy place.

my problem is that it seems easier to just blanket turn everyone out than to enforce the rules already in effect. we will never teach people how to have their dogs in public if the response is always to ban dogs. if we fine folks for not picking up, or having aggressive dogs, or letting them run out of control then we are addressing the problem. irresponsible people will tend to continue to disregard the rules, and responsible people lose rights.

we were having dinner at the sunray a few weeks ago, and a woman was there with her 2 labs- ziggy and marley. letting them have the run of the patio. they were under people's tables, even wandered inside. one other time we were there (with our dogs) a guy came in with a young lab & promptly turned him loose. echo took exception when the lab came up to our table & invaded his space (he was backed in a corner, but fine until then- just laying there minding his own business). so now we don't take our dogs to the dog friendly patio. and i am willing to bet that some people don't go back, because they don't want some stranger's dog under their table or sniffing their food.

i love dogs. i love my dogs, my friend's dogs and most strange dogs. i want to be able to take my dogs with me for a pizza or a cup of coffee or to browse the art at the market. i want to be able to continue to hike or run in the foothills with them off leash and watch them check things out and play tag with each other and have silly spurts of speed down the trail. and it really angers me when clueless dog owners jeopardize our ability to do those things.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

tuesday morning

beautiful clouds this morning- we were trying to remember what kind they are- i remember the names- cumulus, cumulo-nimbus. cirrus- but not what shapes the names correspond to. google next stop!

for the first time in a very long time, we had lots more w/o dogs- 7 without, 4 with. all with were under control, well behaved and leashed where they should be. also saw the PET patrol and had a nice chat.

have a good day all-