Dog Day Birthday
This past weekend, we celebrated Andrew’s birthday in true Oregonian style: the weather totally sucked so we headed out to enjoy the great outdoors anyway. We drove over to Alsea to check out Alsea Falls and Green Peak Falls. The air was damp, the ground was muddy and we were both just as happy as Annie & Sasha, our expert little hiker hounds.
After stopping for some photos at Alsea Falls, we headed further down the trail, and apart from a small group of folks foraging for mushrooms, we had the trail to ourselves. While my photographer side always hopes for just a little more light to capture what I see, it was still a beautiful hike.
We reached Green Peak Falls, which turned out to be quite a bit taller than Alsea Falls. Andrew wanted to check out the top, so we clambered up a steep muddy slope with the aid of rope provided for just that purpose, the dogs easily keeping up beside us. Once we ascended, it was incredible to see the silent, languid water moving almost imperceptibly to the edge, where it then changed into loud, raw power.
We turned around to go down and realized the only safe and practical way for all of us to descend would be to let Annie & Sasha go down by themselves. As in, nobody holding their leash. As in, they would be totally free.
This never happens. I am highly overprotective of them, wary of them ever getting lost or hurt. We have trained them well but it so hard to just let them try, to let them show what they’ve learned, what they know.
I went down first and turned around to wait. Sasha was up first and she made her way gingerly and gracefully, looking down to pick out her next step and then looking at me to make sure I was still there.
And wouldn’t you know it, she came right to me and stopped, wagging her tail with pride. Oh my goodness, was I proud!
Annie was next and I could tell she was thrilled to run down that hill. She, too, was very good and came straight to me … although I detected the slightest hint of disappointment that her freedom run was so short.
I will never forget the look on Sasha’s face as she ran up to me, so eager to see me, to show me that she knew to make the right choice.
The day turned to dusk and we headed back down the trail toward home, Sasha & Annie with fresh confidence in their step and Andrew and I with quiet pride in our hearts. On the drive home, we talked about what great dogs we have and how much joy they bring into our life.
And then we pulled in the driveway.
And went into the house.
And were reminded that when you have dogs, you win some & you lose some.