Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sasha Pursues Happiness on Mt. Liberty

Franconia Ridge Trail just below summit of Mt. Liberty
The weather forecast was for mostly cloudy skies on September 25, 2011, but foster dog Sasha and I decided to head for the hills and hope for some clearing by the time we reached the summit of Mt. Liberty (4,459 ft.) in the middle of the afternoon.  This wonderful, approximately 5-year old, 55-pound Doberman Pinscher/hound mix was perfect company for the 8.0 mile out and back round trip along the Whitehouse, Liberty Springs and Franconia Ridge Trails.  Our gamble paid off, and we enjoyed magnificent weather throughout the entire hike and were greeted with fantastic 360 degree views of fall foliage from the summit of Mt Liberty. 

More photos for Sasha's adoption portfolio
Sasha, who is known for her calm, quiet demeanor, can be a bit shy when meeting people for the first time.  Her initial shyness disappeared quickly as we became instant friends in the car while Sasha enjoyed a few dog biscuits and settled in for the journey to the trailhead.  Since Sasha currently resides in a foster home with two other dogs, I was excited for the opportunity to photograph her interactions with fellow canine hikers. 

Always grateful for volunteer photographers at the summit
Unfortunately, it appears as though the other dogs must have believed that cloudy weather forecast and scheduled their hikes for another day.  While we did not encounter any other dogs on our climb, we did meet a number of very helpful and friendly human hikers who were more than happy to learn about Sasha and the other rescue dogs who have recently participated in Foster Dog Summit.  We were extremely grateful for their assistance with photographs, and we enjoyed hearing about their various routes to the summit of Mt. Liberty that day as well as the many other peaks they have climbed throughout New Hampshire and beyond.

Climbing at a calm, steady pace on the ascent
I explained how grateful I was to have Sasha along for a journey that had a number of slick spots on the trail thanks to several days of steady rainfall.  Sasha was excellent on her leash and always careful to never pull ahead and knock me off balance.  She kept an especially cautious pace on the way down the mountain and frequently stopped and looked back at me as if to seek approval.  While many hikers gain a level of trust and voice command with their own dogs to allow them to walk off lead, I cannot take such risks with dogs that I have just met.  Foster Dog Summit hikers are on a leash the entire way.  While some of the most energetic dogs have had to walk behind me on the descent in order to ensure my safety; I was very comfortable allowing Sasha to be a few steps ahead of me for the entire hike.

It's official - I'm a rock star!
Sasha proudly collected numerous pictures which will become part of her adoption portfolio with Almost Home Rescue, and she invites you to view and share her online photo album and other details with anyone who may be interested in a adopting a dog into their family.  Sasha's life in a foster home with people who care for her and other dogs to socialize with is far better than the one she had residing in an overcrowded animal shelter. 

Now, Sasha is in pursuit of the ultimate happiness, and we hope that the story of her climb to the top of Mt. Liberty will help find her a permanent home!  To learn more about Sasha, please visit Almost Home Rescue and see additional details on her profile online at Petfinder.com.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jordan Catches Air on Mt. Chocurua

Taking in the summit views on Mt. Chocurua
The early signs of fall were shining through on the trails leading to the summit of Mt. Chocurua (3,500 ft.) on Saturday, September 17, 2011.  My companion for this late summer excursion was Jordan - a two-year old, fifty-five pound Retriever mix who certainly proved he loves to hike.  Although this was Jordan's first time on the trails, he was a very enthusiastic climber who appeared to gain equal amounts of confidence and joy with every step.  Described as "extremely athletic" by his foster family, Jordan demonstrated a high level of endurance and agility by quickly clearing paths up and over or around large rocks and fallen trees.

Jordan at Champney Falls on the ascent
During our ascent up the Champney Falls Trail, Jordan was both quiet and friendly, and he approached fellow hikers very cautiously as he adjusted to his new experience.  Everyone we met commented on what a good looking dog Jordan was, and they were more than happy to offer him a friendly pat on the head and wish him much success in finding a family to call his own.  Jordan eagerly greeted his fellow canine hikers.  He enjoyed dipping his paws in the chilly water at Champney Falls, and he played briefly with a few dogs who had gone swimming in a pool beneath the cascades.

Patiently posing for more photos
As we neared the summit of Mt. Chocurua where I introduced Jordan to a few hikers traveling towards us, one of them said, "Jordan. Does he catch air?"  It occurred to me that this extremely athletic boy probably could catch quite a bit of air just like Michael Jordan.  He certainly showed his leaping ability by readily jumping over downed trees that were lying across the trails.  Even during last few hundred feet along the Piper Trail to the steep and rocky summit of Mt. Chocurua, Jordan required very little lifting assistance to reach the very top of the mountain.

Carefully descending on the trail
Jordan displayed perfect manners on his leash throughout the entire journey, and he would often pause momentarily as if to look for my reassurance that his pace was appropriate and to confirm that he was not pulling to get ahead.  I was especially grateful for Jordan's attentiveness on the descent where slippery portions of the trail can become hazardous with a dog who tugs on a leash. 

The end of the road!
As we concluded our journey of nearly 8.0 miles round trip, Jordan still had the energy to mingle with a few dogs who were completing their hikes as well.  While Jordan made new friends, I took the opportunity to invite their owners to share his blog post with friends who may be interested in adopting and also asked them to like us on Facebook.  We are extremely grateful for the courtesy of fellow hikers who offered to take our photo at various points along the way.  A complete photo album of Jordan's trek is available for viewing and sharing.

Jordan is currently residing in a foster home made possible through the volunteer rescue organization Almost Home Rescue based in South Portland, Maine.  Jordan thoroughly enjoys the company of five canine siblings in his temporary home, and he is adjusting well to his three year old human sibling.  If you are looking for a sweet, quiet, athletic dog who enjoys the outdoors and loves the car rides to new destinations, then Jordan could be the perfect addition to your family.  To learn more about Jordan and to make an application for adoption, visit his profile online at Petfinder.com.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Four Paws Four Thousand Feet for a Home

Bowie at the summit of Mt. Osceola
Bowie may weigh only thirty pounds, but please don't let his size deceive you.  His four paws are capable of climbing with the big dogs.  This adventurous Golden retriever/spaniel mix reached the summit of Mt. Osceola (4,340 ft.) on September 11, 2011.

Ready to tackle the Mt. Osceola Trail
Bowie and I ascended via the Mt. Osceola trail for a round trip out and back hike of 6.4 miles.  Bowie proved very capable of  climbing over or finding a quick way around any obstacles he encountered along the way.  A few times along the route, I would be ready to give Bowie a boost, but he had already jumped up and over whatever was in his way!  He was also very welcoming as we crossed paths with other hikers and dogs.  Bowie walked politely on his leash and accommodated my countless requests to take his picture.

Flag on the summit of Mt. Osceola on 9/11/11
Upon reaching the summit of Mt. Osceola, Bowie and I were privileged to be able to see one of the 48 American flags that were being flown on the top of New Hampshire's 4,000 footers in honor of all those who were lost on September 11th.  The flag was brought to the summit by members of the hiking community who were participating in the annual September 11th Memorial Hike.   Accompanying the American flag on its journey were a 9/11 memorial flag and an official flag of the Wounded Warrior Project -  an organization that provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life. To learn more about the September 11th Memorial Hike, visit Flags on the 48 .

Bowie still patiently posing on the descent
After taking photos of this magnificent tribute, Bowie and I overheard a fellow hiker on the summit comment, "Now, that is a perfect sized dog!"  Of course, we took this opportunity to introduce ourselves and explain that he was a foster dog hiking for a home.  We kindly asked if she would share Bowie's information with anyone who may be searching for canine companion. 

A nap for the ride home!
Bowie is currently residing in a foster home made possible by the volunteer network of Canine Guardians for Life, Inc.  He has been a welcomed addition to his foster home where he enjoys the company of three other mixed breed dogs of similar size.  In addition to being an enthusiastic hiker, Bowie is also housebroken and crate trained, and he enjoys the company of people and other dogs. 

Please share Bowie's adventure and  be sure to check out all of the photos from his hike in his Foster Dog Summit photo album.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prada Achieves Adopted Dog Status

Prada at the summit of Crotched Mountain
Prada, our Crotched Mountain summit dog, had a wonderful foster family, and she is grateful for the experience of having lived in a home with other pets and people while waiting for a family to call her own.  Prada's wait ended this week, and she has officially achieved adopted dog status!

Prada is thrilled with her new home where she is quickly becoming a Daddy's girl and is enjoying the company of her new canine brother.

If you or someone you know is interested in adopting a dog or providing a foster home for one who needs a second chance, please contact Canine Guardians for Life, Inc.

Stay tuned for more adventures from hikers looking for homes at Foster Dog Summit and be sure to Like us on Facebook, too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bertie Hiked her Way to a Home

UPDATE:  Bertie will not be going on a third hike with Foster Dog Summit. 

You have to be a foster dog to hike here, and Bertie is now an adopted dog!  Earlier this summer, Bertie hiked to the top of both Mt. Kearsarge and Mt. Cardigan.

Her new family reports that they are all "totally won over by Bertie and love her big time".

Even the cats in the household are taking a liking to Bertie.  Bertie is enjoying daily walks, and her family has taken her on a couple hikes, too!

Our thanks to Canine Guardians for Life, Inc. for assisting Bertie in finding a new home!  There are still a number of other dogs waiting for their permanent homes, including Davey, who reached the top of Catamount Hill a few weeks ago.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tipper Tops Red Hill

Tipper at the Eagle Cliff viewpoint
Tipper is hoping that her recent hike to the top of Red Hill (2,030 ft.) will be her final journey en route to finding a family to call her own.  This approximately six-year old mixed breed has been on a mission to find a forever family for a long time.  The first two years of life for this friendly Labrador/rottweiler are a bit of a mystery, but we do know that Tipper resided in a shelter for the past four years.  A few months ago, Tipper was fortunate to find her way to Almost Home Rescue and their caring network of volunteer foster families who provide temporary homes for dogs waiting to be adopted. 

Tipper and I on the summit of Red Hill
With so many years spent in a kennel, Tipper needed to catch up on her outdoor time, and a scenic hike to the top of Red Hill located in Moultonborough and Sandwich, New Hampshire seemed an ideal place for her to start.  Tipper was a bit shy when I first met her, but she quickly warmed up to me and my friend Karen who accompanied us on our 4.3 mile hike.  With the benefit of two cars to park at separate trailheads, we elected to ascend via the Eagle Cliff trail and descend using the Red Hill trail.  While the Eagle Cliff trail is a longer and more challenging route to the summit, the views from along the cliffs are worth the extra effort.

Uprooted trees were no match for Tipper
Tipper politely led the way and climbed over boulders and trees as if such hikes were part of her daily routine.  Several trees that were recently blown down by the force of Hurricane Irene were no match for Tipper's hopping ability.  She easily found her way up and over or around such obstacles.  Tipper also did not let her initial shyness prevent her from interacting with people and pets along the way and during our stay at the summit.  She enjoyed the company of fellow hikers of both the human and canine variety.

Hanging out with some new friends at the summit

While spending time atop Red Hill, Tipper enjoyed a few treats and several drinks of water while interacting with a number of people and dogs.  Of course, she also posed for several more photos while we explained that Tipper was hiking in search of a home as part of Foster Dog Summit and indicated where her adoption application details could be located online.  We were especially interested to hear fellow hikers' stories of their own rescue dogs, and we encouraged them to consider becoming a temporary home for a dog in need of rescue from an overcrowded animal shelter.  They were very polite in allowing Tipper to interact with their canine companions and have photos taken.  Be sure to visit Tipper's online photo album for more pictures of her adventures on the trail. 

Taking a break at the summit with Karen
One hiker remarked that, "Tipper is a perfect medium size dog that many people should consider adopting!"

We completely agree!

Celebrating the end of the hike!
Please visit and share Tipper's page on Petfinder.com and help find a home to call her very own!  If you are interested in supporting a foster dog program or would like to learn more about how to become a foster family for a dog in need visit Almost Home Rescue.  The sooner a homeless dog is provided the opportunity to live in a foster home, the better he or she will become acclimated to a variety of people, pets and situations - all wonderful experiences that prepare a dog to be a lifelong companion!