Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Pups Two Peaks One Goal

Sage and Tyson collaborating about their search for homes
It was a first for Foster Dog Summit on Sunday, November 20, 2011 as my friend Karen and I headed out for a hike with a pair of pups, Sage and Tyson, in search of two peaks and one goal - permanent homes for both of these fine gentlemen.  We took a double dog daring trek to the tops of Mt. Percival (2,212 ft.) and Mt. Morgan (2,220 ft.) to take some pictures and enjoy the views of Squam Lake and the surrounding mountains.

Sage was so excited to hit the trails!
Our newest hiker Sage is a handsome, approximately two year old Labrador retriever/German shepherd mix who currently resides in a foster home with a volunteer from Almost Home Rescue.  During his hiking adventure, Sage demonstrated that he loves riding in the car and craves human affection as much as he enjoys charging to the top of a mountain or two!

Tyson on the summit of Mt. Morgan enjoying a second hike
Followers of this blog may remember our second hiker Tyson from his adventures on the trails to the summit of Mt. Kinsman North a few weeks ago.  Shortly after that trip, Tyson was adopted by a someone we met on the trails, and we were very excited to see him off to a new home that included a canine sister.  Unfortunately, after only a few days, his canine sister decided that she did not care too much for Tyson's high energy and preferred to be an only dog once again.  So, Tyson has returned to his foster home with a volunteer for Canine Guardians for Life, Inc. to look for a new permanent family to call his own.

This adorable, mostly Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever mix was happy to have the opportunity for another hike.  Tyson and I have decided that our motto at Foster Dog Summit will be, "If at first you don't succeed; hike, hike again!"

Side by side on the descent from Mt. Morgan
Thankfully, Tyson and Sage did not conflict with one another during our hike even though they met for the first time as we arrived at the trail head on Sunday morning.  During the majority of the time where the trail was wide enough to accommodate both dogs, Sage and Tyson hiked side by side occasionally stopping in unison to sniff something of interest on the side of the trail.

Lisa-Marie, Sage, Tyson and Karen on Mt. Percival
As the sun began to set, our hiking duo concluded their five mile journey to the summits of Mt. Percival and Mt. Morgan before sharing a car ride back to their respective foster homes.  Both Sage and Tyson are hoping that they will find forever homes soon and have a shared holiday wish that it will come true!  Please help these hikers find their homes for the holidays by sharing this post and the links to their profiles below.

A full photo album of photos to accompany this double dog blog is available online.  Our hike along the Mount Percival - Mount Morgan loop was planned using the route described in the book "Best Hikes with Dogs - New Hampshire & Vermont" by Lisa Densmore which we recommend for its suggested routes around dog unfriendly obstacles such as the steep ladders near the summit of Mt. Morgan.

To learn and share more about Sage or to make an application for his adoption, visit his profile on  Tyson also has his own profile which is available by clicking here on

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!  See you on the trails.  A video of Sage and Tyson's adventure is posted below and available for sharing on You Tube.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lewis Travels to Tate Mountain and Beyond

Lewis on the Shaw Trail
Lewis and I decided to tackle some lesser known trails over in the Ossipee Mountains this weekend.  This adorable, approximately four year old Australian shepherd mix enjoyed meandering along the Shaw, Italian and Big Ball Mountain trails on Sunday, November 13, 2011.  Since this was my first hike over in the Ossipee range, I was a bit unsure of exactly where our journey would take us, but Lewis did not seem to mind a bit about our open agenda.

He was a perfect gentleman during the car ride to the trail head and walked very casually yet inquisitively along the trails en route to the summit of Tate Mountain 2,060 ft. (also known as Big Ball Mountain) and beyond to the lookout at Black Snout at 2,803 ft.

Lewis exchanged pats on the head for photos
Lewis loved the walking as much as he did the many stops along the way for photos where he would look up with his soulful brown eyes for a rewarding pat on the head.  Of course, I could not help but to oblige his many requests for attention.  In addition to our various photo stops, Lewis and I also chatted with a number of other hikers who were also enjoying a crisp walk in the fallen leaves.  Lewis proudly greeted fellow hikers as well as canine trekkers Moose, Chase and Seamus.

Lewis and I at Black Snout lookout
As we continued along on our approximately six mile out and back hike, we collected photos from our stops along Fields Brook as well as the top of Tate Mountain and the Black Snout Lookout which is a sub peak of Mt. Shaw.  While we enjoyed well marked trails throughout our journey, we were not always certain of the stops that we had made along the way.  Lewis and I attempted to confer with other hikers on the trails, but it quickly became evident that they were also new to the trails and that our own map of the area was the most comprehensive one which even a trail locator application seemed to contradict.  A full album of photos featuring Lewis' adventure in the Ossipee Mountain Range is available online.   Should any followers of Foster Dog Summit who have hiked this area wish to comment on our locations in the album, we would sincerely appreciate your clarifications.  Our comparisons with other trips reports we have found online indicate some conflicting references to locations such as Big Ball Mountain and Black Snout Lookout.

Taking a snooze at the Black Snout lookout
While Lewis would really love to be in a new home for the holidays, he understands that not everyone is in a position to adopt him right now.  However, Lewis realizes that you may be interested in helping him and his other foster friends currently living in temporary homes with volunteers for Canine Guardians for Life, Inc.  So, if you would like to support the rescue and adoption of homeless dogs this holiday season, Lewis would sincerely appreciate your charitable vote for him in the Virtual Dog Race.  Click here to cast your vote for Lewis by making a donation in his honor.

You can read more about the Virtual Dog Race and also see more recent happy endings in the latest newsletter from Canine Guardians for Life, Inc.  See you on the trails!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tyson Bags a Home on Mt. Kinsman

A little rain but a lot of fun on Mt. Kinsman!
Two nights before my journey with Tyson as I was contemplating which mountain to hike, I told my husband that I was thinking about heading to the summit of Cannon even though I had already climbed there with my own dogs, and I also ski there frequently in the winter.

My dogs Neely and Bandit at the summit of Cannon July 2009
My husband replied, "You have already hiked Cannon.  Why not go over and do the Kinsmans instead?" 

I decided to take his advice, and my last check on the weather reports indicated that Kinsman would be favorable for a hike.  So, Tyson and I decided to head for the summit of Mt. Kinsman North, and if we had the time, we would also go over to the top of Mt. Kinsman South. 

When Tyson and I reached the trail head that morning, it was already drizzling in Franconia Notch.  I thought about driving further south and hiking Mt. Tecumseh instead.  There was not a drop of rain until I drove into Franconia Notch that morning, so I knew there was a good chance it was drier elsewhere in the White Mountains.  I worried about having low quality photos from the hike if it really started to rain, and I was concerned about the route becoming too slippery on the way back.

But I just had a feeling that Kinsman was where we should hike that day. 

Tyson looks toward the trails
As I looked into the backseat at Tyson, he seemed ready to start hiking, and something told me to simply, "Go for it."  I had new boots with a good tread, and if it rained too hard, we could turn back or at least modify our original plan to hike to the summits of both Kinsman North and South.  We could always settle for one 4,000 foot peak on this rainy day. 

Tyson, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever who is bred for the water, definitely seemed to agree.  I leashed Tyson, grabbed my backpack, pulled my hood up, and off we went on our adventure to the summit of Mt. Kinsman North.

There were a number of other hikers who were also fooled by the latest forecasts and were surprised by the drizzly, cold and foggy conditions.  I spoke with many people on the way to the summit who were very impressed with Tyson.  I make a pitch about Foster Dog Summit to anyone who indicates interest in my hiking companion du jour, so nearly everyone on the trails that day heard about Tyson's search for a home.

Tyson and his new sibling Maddie
One person paid particular attention because by Monday morning after our hike, Canine Guardians for Life, Inc. had an application for Tyson from a hiker I spoke with on Mt. Kinsman.  Mark already had a young pit bull mixed breed rescue dog at home, and he was looking for a second companion.  He believed Tyson might be the perfect addition to his family. 

Tyson went home to Mark, his wife and their dog Maddie last weekend.

Tyson and I bagged only one peak on that rainy Saturday as we decided to head back after reaching the summit of Kinsman North to be certain we had enough time for a potential slip and slide on the descent. 

We are extremely happy with our one peak and one home! 

See you on the trails.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Take Two for Tipper on Indian Head

Tipper at the summit of Mt. Pemigewasset (Indian Head)
Watching Tipper tackle the trail on Mt. Pemigewasset (2,557 ft.) on a beautiful autumn day was especially rewarding as I recalled that this sweet six-year old Labrador mix recently spent four years living at an animal shelter.  Tipper relished her time in the woods and displayed an increased level of comfort and confidence over our first hike to the top of Red Hill in early September.  
Since my time was limited for hiking this weekend, we chose the approximately three mile out and back trek along the Mt. Pemigewasset trail where Tipper and I could enjoy spectacular views from the ledges several hundred feet above Franconia Notch.  On a perfectly clear day without a cloud in the sky, our journey did not disappoint. 

Tipper at the start of the Pemigewasset Trail
Tipper was eager to get started on a hike that included several stops for photos, a few stream crossings, and the opportunity to meet many new people and a few dogs as well.  She calmly greeted fellow hikers and was especially fond of meeting fellow canine climbers Bella, Scarlet, Barclay and Mike.

Tipper meets Scarlet and Barclay at the summit
Since Tipper and I got a relatively early start, we encountered only a few other hikers until we reached the summit.  Our final steps to the summit can be viewed on this short video clip.  After carefully peering over the ledge from the summit and taking a few photos, Tipper and I made the acquaintance of fellow rescue dogs Scarlet and Barclay who were enjoying the views after having climbed via the Indian Head Trail.  Scarlet and Barclay were both very friendly and proudly modeled their fleece coats while I spoke with their human companions about Tipper and how she was hiking for a home as part of Foster Dog Summit.

Tipper's friend Mike whom she met on the trail
After spending some time enjoying the warm sunshine at the peak, Tipper and I began our descent where we had the opportunity to meet several more hikers.  Everyone was interested in hearing about Tipper's hike for a home and looked forward to sharing her story.  We also met a very enthusiastic cairn terrier named Mike who has climbed several of New Hampshire's 4,000 footers and also enjoys accompanying his family on cross country skiing trips in the winter.  Mike was very excited to make Tipper's acquaintance and to have his picture taken.  He was delighted to pose for a few photos while Tipper enjoyed a break from the camera.

Getting ready for the trip home.
Tipper enjoyed every aspect of her second hike from the trip to the trail head to the stroll to the summit.  A complete photo album of Tipper's journey to the top of Mt. Pemigewasset is available online.  

To learn more about Tipper and to make an application for adoption, please visit her profile online at the Almost Home Rescue page on   Tipper hopes that the next time she meets you on the trails, she will be able to introduce you to her new family.  Please share Tipper's story and help find her a home.