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.

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