Sunday, October 9, 2011

Addi Scrambles to Whiteface Summit

Blue heeler mix Addi on the Blueberry Ledge Trail
"Smart, loving, energetic and the perfect running or agility dog," is the opening description on Addi's profile at  With such a high-energy resume, I was determined to tire Addi out with a challenging hike on a gorgeous summer like fall day.

Buckled in for safety en route to Mt. Whiteface
When I met Addi on Saturday morning, I was immediately impressed by her stunning good looks and playful demeanor.  Her foster mom informed me that Addi bonds very quickly to new people and that she would most likely enjoy hiking since she runs 2-3 miles nearly every day.  Addi hopped right into my car with such enthusiasm it was clear that she agreed with this assessment and couldn't wait to go on her first hike!  

Addi and I atop Mt. Whiteface
As we drove to the hiker parking area, I thought about how so many wonderful dogs like Addi become homeless as a result of housing restrictions.  Addi was adopted from an animal shelter when she was approximately 2 years old.  Her new family, which included two other dogs, loved Addi and were so thrilled to have rescued her from the shelter.  Sadly, only a few months later, the family had to move to military base housing where a two dog limit was in place.  Addi fell victim to the last in first out (LIFO) rule, and she became homeless for a second time in her short life.  I am hopeful that Addi's hike with Foster Dog Summit will put her one step closer to a permanent "three's a charm" home.

We chose the 8.4 mile round trip to the summit of Mt. Whiteface (4,020 ft.) via the Blueberry Ledge and Rollins Trails.  This is one of the most popular routes to the summit of Mt. Whiteface, but it does require more than a bit of scrambling near the top.  By all accounts, Addi - a 2 and 1/2 year old blue heeler mixed breed was up to the challenge.  When hiking solo with a dog on a leash, it is important to be certain that the dog is physically capable of some leaping and that you are prepared to lift the dog, if necessary.  Thankfully, Addi had some leaps, and I was able to give her a boost in a few spots near the top.

Addi and the view from the ledge en route
We met our first hikers on the trail approximately 45 minutes into our journey.  Addi alerted me to someone coming up the trail behind us by barking at them from a distance.  I was grateful for the heads up, but most of the dogs I have hiked with have not barked such alerts.  Addi, however, was a working dog intent on finishing her climb, and she clearly had bonded to me in a short amount of time.  I explained that Addi was on her first hike and had been very focused on the trail when they came up behind us.  They understood and joked that I was the safest person on the trail that day.  As we made our way up the Blueberry Ledge Trail, Addi became increasingly more confident and accepted that it was normal for other people and even the occasional dog to be on the trail with us.

Don't be fooled, Addi is just getting her second wind!
By the time we reached the summit, Addi and I took a much needed break, had some lunch and enjoyed the views.  We also made the acquaintance of another solo hiker named Martin who was planning to descend via the Blueberry Ledge Trail.  We were grateful for Martin's offer to take some photographs and his interest in Foster Dog Summit.  Addi and I decided to partner up with Martin for the return journey down the mountain.  Addi proved to be just as agile and energetic on the descent as she was on the way up the mountain, and she required very little assistance negotiating her way down the steeper sections.

I would be thrilled to hike with Addi again, but I hope that she will be hiking or enjoying some other activity with a new family before I get the chance to climb with her once more.  Please visit the complete photo album of Addi's hike to the summit of Mt. Whiteface.  Additional details about Addi are available on her profile at

To learn more about how to adopt Addi or to contribute financial or other support to the all volunteer rescue organization that provides Addi and many other dogs with foster homes, please visit the website for Almost Home Rescue of Maine.  See you on the trails!


  1. Addi has received an application and most likely will be in her forever home by next week. Her family was moved by her story on Foster Dog Summit. They are an active family and Addi is just what they are looking for. More to follow, thank you for everything you do for our foster dogs.

    Adele Jones
    Almost Home Rescue

  2. Thank you for the update, Adele. It is a privilege to be able to assist these dogs along in their journeys to new homes. I am so happy for Addi and hope that her potential adopters find a perfect match in this smart girl!