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Thread: Bad dog owner (me)

  1. #1
    Member MikeB's Avatar
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    Bad dog owner (me)

    I know that the rocks we all hike over in the Whites can be very tough on dog paws, especially the continuous broken rock hopping above tree line. I'm always careful to ramp up with shorter hikes each season to toughen up Mia's paw pads before tackling longer or rougher hikes.

    On Saturday we took on such a hike - a Jefferson / Adams / Madison loop from Appalacia, which has plenty of ridge line rock scrabbling. I felt we had enough hikes under our belt/collar that Mia was ready. We had a great time with perfect weather. Black flies pesky in a few spots but manageable. But unfortunately I failed my trusting, loyal hiking companion.

    Mia mostly hikes a few feet in front of me, and I keep a close eye for signs of discomfort, limping, or blood. I never noticed anything amiss during the hike. It was only after we got home, on our after dinner walk, that I saw some limping. On inspection I found two of her pads were sliced. Darn stoic dog! Thorough cleaning in a bucket of warm water, some neosporin, gauze, and vet-wrap we're all patched up now, but no Sunday hike for us.

    I actually failed twice. First and most important I did not check Mia's paws every water or food break. I have no excuse, we were just motoring along and I didn't think of it. Second, I wasn't carrying doggie booties (but could've improvised with gauze, bandana and duct tape).

    Anyway, I'm posting as an apology to Mia; to reinforce some behavior modification on my part; and to remind other hiker dogs and their people to keep an eye on the paws and always be prepared for mishaps. We'll see y'all out on the trails again soon enough!

  2. #2
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Those darn northerns are so mean to dog paws! I had to carry Pemi out in my backpack about a month ago. With neosporin, pads heal quickly but it will be some time before they fully toughen. Ow.

    We have been using Ruff Wear Griptrex Booties now - found them on sale at Concord LL Bean for $27.
    ADK 46'r NE115'r NEHH NH 48 x 6 NH48W NH 331/576
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  3. #3
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    Darn stoic dog!
    How true. Jackson the Wunderdog is exactly like this. He's nine now, so I find longer breaks work well for me to judge how he is doing. He always lays down at breaks, so if I extend them a bit, I get a better sense on how he is really doing. Another good indicator is when he "pauses" a little bit when we get ready to go after breaks. I know he will always follow....I just wanna get a sense how much he wants to follow.

    I don't know what is worse, me get older or him.

    Peace.
    I can't think of an inspirational, funny or quirky little saying.

  4. #4
    Senior Member griffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    Darn stoic dog!
    Thanks for the timely reminder as I'm getting ready to hike with the most recent addition to our pack. It's so easy to forget that our 4-legged hiking buddies don't always show us when they're hurt, or are being pushed too far or too fast, and that it's up to us to monitor them closely.

    i've never had to deal with abraded or sliced pads on a hike, but I remember when the late Oliver developed arthritis as an older dog. It would break my heart to leave him behind, especially if I was taking my younger dog, Augie. The only thing worse was watching him limp after a hike that was too much for him, no matter how enthusiastic he seemed.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Becca M's Avatar
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    We all do stuff we end up regretting, unfortunately, so, you are in good company....here's hoping the pup heals quickly!!!!
    Yay for winter!!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Surely, she forgives you and loves you the same.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Sadly, I had the exact same thing happen. I had checked them often enough, but coming down Jefferson we circled along the western side and the rock hopping tore her pads to shreds. I was stunned when we stopped and I saw them. She never whined or anything, which I found most troubling. She just soldiered on while this was happening. Awful, awful experience...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Maybe you already to it, but you might want to carry some dog booties in your pack -- just in case. You never know when something like that might happen and booties can be a valuable item to have along and use even in the summer.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
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  9. #9
    Senior Member IQuest's Avatar
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    It's always troublesome when you find that you dog has sustained an injury. Last year I noticed a couple of blisters on Marlie's feet after a Isolation, Monroe, Washington hike. She never showed any sign of discomfort during or after the hike but I can't imagine that she felt nothing. I can get a pretty good gauge of her stamina level by the size and legnth of her tongue when she pants but those Northern Presi rocks can take their toll without imediate notice.
    Ian

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