Sunday, December 11, 2011

Maribel Marches to Mt. Tecumseh Summit

Maribel at the summit of Mt. Tecumseh
Okay, so perhaps marching is a bit of an exaggeration for this lovely yet lanky Labrador/Weimaraner mixed breed who recently arrived from an overcrowded animal shelter in Arkansas.  Ten month old Maribel was found wandering as as stray on the fairway of a local country club.  So, while we knew Maribel was capable of walking eighteen holes, we wanted to see if she would be equally interested in hiking four thousand feet.

Sure, I'll try a munchkin
Our adventure to the top of Mt. Tecumseh (4,003 ft.) began with a stop at Dunkin' Donuts where Maribel graciously accepted the offer of a complimentary munchkin to fuel her way to the summit.  Maribel was extremely well behaved in the car though she did need a little bit of a boost to get in the backseat since she is still getting familiar with how to jump into a car.  Thereafter, she was perfectly content with her car ride and had no problem jumping out and hitting the trail.

To be fair, Maribel is far more spectacular and sweet than my amateur photography skills may convey.  Pointing and shooting with my right hand on the camera and my left hand on the leash does not always produce the most centered, focused or appropriately lighted shots.  Photographing a dog that is nearly all black while hiking along the trail can be especially difficult.  Sometimes, I am disappointed when a photo that I had high hopes for turns out to be blurred when later downloaded from the camera after a hike.

Taking a flying leap
Then there are times when I am surprised by a candid moment that I did not realize I had captured.  Such was the case with one of the first photos I snapped as Maribel faced crossing a stream on the Mt. Tecumseh Trail.  After hesitating briefly and seemingly aware of how cold the water would be if she did not hit each stepping stone, Maribel nearly took to the skies in an attempt to keep her feet dry.  Thereafter, Maribel confidently trekked across the streams, up rocks, around trees and over ice. 

Maribel, Roxy and Tucker
I was expecting a 10-month old dog to have fewer leash manners and to be a bit rambunctious when meeting and greeting people on the trail.  Maribel was completely the opposite.  She walked rather calmly on her leash, and she approached both human and fellow canine hikers on the trail very politely.  When two high energy hiking hounds named Roxy and Tucker came galloping up the trail during our descent, Maribel greeted them with a quiet enthusiasm and seemed ready to accompany them for a second trip to the summit.

Hoping for a home for the holidays!
Overall, Maribel fully enjoyed her hike and was especially curious of the snow which she sniffed and accumulated around her chin for the majority of the trip.  If you are interested in adopting Maribel or know someone who is looking for a canine companion, you can learn more on her adoption profile here.  Maribel is currently residing in a foster home in New Hampshire with a volunteer from Almost Home Rescue.

A full album of photos from Maribel's hiking adventure is also available for viewing.  See you on the trails!

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