Leaving a dog behind (Hiking Mount Tammany)


A picture from a hike last fall to Harriman State Park.

Andrew and I love to hike. It is such a great way to get away from everything and spend time together. Not to mention it is the best way to tire out the dogs. A couple of weeks ago we did our first hike of the summer at the Delaware Water Gap going up Mount Tammany. We did a short 3.5 mile loop in maybe two hours that was moderately difficult with a 1100 feet elevation gain in 1.2 miles.


One of the roughest parts of this hike was doing it without Dixie.  She had been limping for a over a week when we took her to the vet. After a couple of appointments, blood tests, x-rays, and of course the $$ to pay for it all, it was decided that she probably sprained a muscle in her shoulder. We have a few ideas of how this might have happened, most of them revolving around the combination of her getting used to the slippery wood floors in the apartment and the rough play between her and Charley. Her long, skinny legs and large sausage body are a stark contrast to Charley’s thick, shorter legs and small body. It wouldn’t have taken much for her leg to slide out from under her just the wrong way and push the muscle a little too far. So with the sore shoulder, the only thing we could do with her was to go for short walks, ice her shoulder after doing some stretching exercises, and wait.


Dixie is the world’s best cuddler. Nothing makes her happier than romping in the woods and then getting to cuddle up on the couch.

While it was a bit depressing to think about how much money we spent only to find out there was no “fix” and no idea when she might feel better, it was still reassuring to know that other than a sore muscle, she was a healthy dog. No arthritis or other bone injuries, and no lyme disease or other tick-bourn diseases or illnesses. She was even weighing in at a very healthy 72 pounds. It was still difficult to leave her behind, even knowing that it was the best thing for her. Whenever we left, there would be a moment as we were about to close the door behind us when it would click in her little brain that she was not coming with. Her eyes would droop into the saddest expression, and our hearts would break.

Even though Dixie wasn’t able to go for hikes or even long walks, there was no way that we could hold Charley back. Without exercise he would terrorize our house and poor Dixie. So we took him with on our brief Saturday hike to the Water Gap.


Great view of Mount Minsi across the Water Gap.


Getting Charley to pose for this picture was a pain! He doesn’t like to sit down with his pack on, and his butt kept sliding off the rock. We pretty much had to hold his butt up while some nice person quickly snapped the picture.

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We had a nice picnic at the top where Charley got some of his favorite treats: carrots!


Oh how I love that goofy Charley smile!


Lots of  dead cicadas. The whole hike there was a constant buzz through the woods that sounded like some sort of high-pitched electrical signal, when really it was the cicadas flying about.


On the way down from the hike there was a lot of water running down the trail. This got Charley really excited and he couldn’t help but do his “puppy run”. His butt gets low to the ground and he runs around madly. This is typical Charley behavior around free streaming water and when we play with him in the evenings.

(Update: this was back in June, and now that it is July Dixie is starting to recover and we have been taking her on longer and longer walks, have started to jog with her a little, and are hoping we can take her on a long hike in a couple of weeks).


5 responses to “Leaving a dog behind (Hiking Mount Tammany)

  1. Pingback: Back to blogging | Bark, Eat, Grow·

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  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie: A Dog’s Perspective | Bark, Eat, Grow·

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