September is here. It’s so sad to say goodbye to summer, but at least this is the best month for adventures in the forest. I try to let my dogs spend as many days as possible with me in the forest. It’s good for us all. There is overwhelming evidence showing that human brains work best if we exercise. I’m sure the same is true for dogs. And of course: it’s not only good for our brains. My dogs get all kinds of exercise in the forest. Endurance from running, relaxation from trotting, and strength from walking on uneven ground and lifting their legs over rocks, fallen trees and the blueberry bushes that cover most of the forest floor. I try to get some of everything in our walks. Sometimes they run on their own while I mind my own business (usually listening to podcasts). Sometimes I ask them to walk behind me so that they have to walk and lift their legs. Sometimes we run together and they trot beside me. And then there’s the mandatory break for a group photo somewhere nice. I used to be annoyed with their long tongues ruining the picture, but I realised today that long tongues are a sign of happy, well exercised dogs.
Sometimes there’s a little too much of an adventure. We had a close encounter with a moose a couple of weeks ago. And on Tuesday, Bud was suddenly on three legs and in a lot of pain. We called Thomas who came to the rescue with a car while we carried Bud back through the forest. When we got to the car, he was still obviously in pain and wouldn’t put his foot down. We looked for signs of a snake bite, but found nothing. He wasn’t swollen and we couldn’t see any mark on his paw. I drove straight to our local (and very good!) vet, took him out of the car and he was… fine! Walked like normal, put weight on the leg and seemed happy. We drove home again and he’s been fine since. Very scary and strange. Snake bites are a constant worry during the warm months, even though we’ve never had a dog bitten.