Monday, November 26, 2012

The First Two Seasons Now on Video

Marvin taking in the views from Mts. Welch and Dickey
The first two seasons of Foster Dog Summit are now on video.  Special thanks to rescue groups - Canine Guardians for Life, Inc. and Almost Home Rescue of Maine - for providing the second chances for first hikes and forever homes.

Favorite photos and previously unseen footage from the 2011 and 2012 seasons are now available on You Tube. 

Click here for link to video if your browser does not display it below.

See you on the trails!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wandering with Foster Dog Willow to Round Pond

Willow on the way to Round Pond
Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month?  My hiking companion Willow had no idea that there was an entire month dedicated to encouraging people to adopt a senior pet.  Nor does this lovely 11-year old black Labrador mix consider herself a senior!  After hiking several hours with Willow along the Red/Blue and Red Trails leading from Camp Bell to Round Pond in the Belknap Mountain range, I have to agree that she does not act her age.

Views from the Red Trail looking towards
Belknap Mountain
Willow had a bit of warm up to our hike after I began by making a wrong turn and starting out in a direction away from our initial destination of hiking the loop around Mts. Klem and Mack.  I was following a route from a trip report that someone had filed online, and I did not have a full map of the area in hand.  While the question, "Am I heading in the right direction"? can often be solved with a phone call or a quick visit online, I did not have cell service either.  This was not a difficult wrong turn to correct, and I was not in danger of getting lost, but it was a waste of time and rendered me less than fully prepared.  So, now I have two very nice full-color trail maps of the entire Belkap Mountain range.  They are available for sale at the Gilford Public Library.

The porcupine we met en route
Once Willow and I circled back and made our way to the start of the Red Trail, we enjoyed a wonderful walk to the edge of Round Pond.  We encountered a rather larger porcupine en route, but he or she graciously yielded the right of way by scaling a tree as we got close.  Trail signs of coyote and moose were especially evident as we approached the pond, but both creatures fully escaped our view.

Time to turn around and head home
After we reached Round Pond, I was confident that Willow had the energy to complete the loop over to Mts. Klem and Mack.  Unfortunately, the amount of daylight remaining did not equal this 11-year old's energy level.  So, we opted for an out and back and made our way back the route we traveled.  While I did not have a complete trail map for this location, I do carry a headlamp in the event that darkness falls before a hike is finished.

Smiling for the camera!
Willow led the way to our hike's conclusion with daylight to spare.  After several dozen photos along the route, I think Willow just may have overcome some of her camera shyness as she finished strong and with a smile on her face.  This sweet girl is hoping to have a home for the holidays where she will bring much joy to her new family.  A complete album of Willow's journey is available online here, and you can learn more about her and other rescue dogs waiting for their forever homes by visiting Almost Home Rescue.

See you on the trails!