We had the opportunity to join some friends on a hike where we would introduce a recent dog rescue to her first hike in the White Mountains. Coco is a red Australian Cattle Dog mix, about one year old, that had been returned twice because she was just too much dog for people who did not understand her breed. It is our hope that her new person, David, will give her her forever home. He is capable and loving, a single dog person who has some experience with her breed and similar breeds. We wish them all the luck and patience they need to make this work for both of them!
We chose a hike in Crawford Notch where we would ascend Mount Avalon and hopefully be blessed with some great views before continuing on to Mount Field and possibly Willey before descending to the notch. This would give me the opportunity to bail on the hike at Mount Avalon if I was having trouble with my hip, which I did, and I did bail, while the others continued up to Mount Field. Things started out well with an introduction between Coco and Blue, a blue merle Cattle Dog we have done a lot of hiking with, but a few minutes later we had to break them up as there was a minor disagreement about who was top dog. Coco's previous owners had allowed her to roam and bully in her neighborhood with no guidance or direction, then when she became aggressive with other dogs gave her up. We hope that with each other's love, help and understanding we can help turn her around and learn that she need not be aggressive or defensive, just be a dog.
Mr. Blue was patient with her, but was not going to take any guff. At the first brook crossing Coco showed that she had no fear of water or rock hopping, darting across and back a couple of times while the more cautious Mr. Blue picked his way across. At the trail junction where we turned to ascend Avalon they shared a snack and all was well. Later there was an issue when the food came out, but this is something we can work on and hopefully correct. As I said, I turned around at Avalon and headed down while the others ascended to Mount Field. This day there was to be no views at any point, so summit visits were short. The weather was cold and damp and not really a great day to be hiking.
On my descent I stopped and took many pictures along the brook of wonderful ice formations. Even while slowly dying in the mountains winter still casts its magical spell with water, and I was pleased to just behold Nature's Wonder as I took my time getting down. It was not the greatest hike or greatest day in the mountains that any of us had spent, but Coco got to run and sniff new, wonderful scents she had never before imagined. It was a happy sight to watch her lithe form spring along the trail with the unbridled joy only a dog can express. We hope through these hikes she can learn to relax and become another in a long line of great trail dogs!