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Hiking with

Yesterday, I spent a chunk of my day hiking and talking blog strategy and content with Amy and Rod from They’ve arrived in advance of BlogPaws West (a pet blogger conference in Denver this week). They were nice enough to drive their RV up to the open space park just 2 miles from Chez Champion of My Heart. And, the three of us — plus their German shepherd (Buster) — went for a hike.

Alas, because Buster isn’t keen on other dogs while on leash, Miss Lilly stayed home. Their sharpei (Ty) also stayed behind in the RV because he is no fan or strangers, other dogs, or exercise, or so I’m told.

Debbie from would be SO proud of me. I didn’t pay any attention to Ty at all. I ignored him, and he was perfectly fine with me sitting right there in the RV chatting mere inches from him, after our hike. See her recent post The Gift is in the Giving.

I cannot, however, take credit for this photo because in a series of blunders that lasted from sunrise to sundown I forgot my camera. This is one they sent me back when we guest blogged for each other.

Those blunders include:

Not being able to find the day pack that I normally carry for such hikes, and having to make-do with another one I like MUCH less

Forgetting my camera

Having my legs covered in unsightly red bumps after a beauty related injury … so I looked like a combination of a rough-and-tumble mountain girl and a leper (let’s hope the rash clears up before the conference because I planned to wear cute city shorts and skirts)

And, are you ready for the final thing?

After slamming a quick sandwich and racing down the mountain to see my mom and run errands before dinner (which included not only homemade noodles, but homemade meatballs and red sauce, … yet to be made) I realized that my shirt had been inside-out all day.

Howz that for making a good impression when you first meet online friends in person?

My mom thought the whole thing was hilarious. Other than the rash on my legs, which she told me again and again to put Benadryl cream on.

One Other Dog

Even though it was a holiday weekend, the trails were pretty empty, and we only saw one other dog toward the end of our hike. Rod and I stood just off trail, splitting the distance between Buster and the other dog. Amy and Buster made a b-line up the hill to get him the distance he needs. He did bark a little, but otherwise it was a mild response.

Afterward, Buster seemed amped up, even though he shook off the stress, so:

  • I asked him to sit.
  • I took off my sunglasses so that he could see my eyes.
  • I took deep breaths.
  • And, I used soft blinky eyes to help him get soft blinky eyes and relax for a second.

I’d never tried to “blink down” any dog but Lilly, but Buster blinked right back and me and got a nice soft face again. (I hope they didn’t mind me trying to help.)

He is a real doll. I’m madly in love with Buster. Then, again I love me some herding dog.

And, for the record, Ty is just a tiny guy. I think of sharpei as being bigger, but he is about Lilly’s size or smaller.

Gotta run!

Things are crazy busy, with normal work, the blog, and Never Shock a Puppy, so even though it’s a “day off” for many … it is NOT for me. I’d best get moving.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Amy@GoPetFriendly - September 6, 2010

We had such a great time on the hike! The scenery was fantastic and we really enjoyed our chat.

Also, I loved the way you helped Buster relax after our dog encounter. He and I have been working on blinking together for a while now, and it was cool to see him do it with someone he’d just met.

Looking forward to seeing you again on Thursday!

Maery Rose - September 6, 2010

Shirt inside out all day! Girl, you are running as fast you can, aren’t you? At least you are keeping your sense of humor about it. I’ve been reading about the fire. I hope all the people and animals get out safely. Take care!

    Roxanne Hawn - September 6, 2010

    Ha! Well, yes. To my credit it’s plain white and one of those athletic shirts that wick away sweat better. But, it also shows how I’m usually flying through laundry and did not STOP to turn it rightside out before hanging it up.

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