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Re: Dogs, cont'd



(in further response to Linda "o myrle" Wacker's question re: dogs on the 
trail)
As much as I enjoyed having my hounds with me, there were some drawbacks, 
other than the snake scenario. One dog got into a dogfight while he was 
vacationing in Knoxville while I did the Smokies. As a result, he had a 
cellulitus in the afflicted paw, which I treated with warm soaks, 
elevation, and antibiotics (being an RN, and starting out solo, I had a 
good medical kit). Another dog found a porcupine, again when off-trail in 
Acadia Ntl. Park when we flip-flopped to Maine at the end of Sept. After 
getting some sedatives for her from the vet, a friend & I extracted the 
quills...she was not too appreciative the next day... While going thru 
the 100 mile wilderness in Maine, Yuri, the dogfight survivor, fell off a 
log after we were 20 miles in & started limping. After splinting that, he 
seemed to walk ok, but upon receiving his pack again, he immediately put 
his paw up; Pack off, paw down, pack on, paw up. So we turned around & 
headed into Millinocket so I could get him x-rayed & I carried the pack 
as well as my full load. the vet said nothing was broken, that he was 
probably just tired of hiking & had found a way for me to carry his pack!
(Hence, I did 140 miles of the 100 mile wilderness).... 
Luckily, I'd met some other hikers who were out for just a few days & 
Yuri hitched a ride with them to a friend's in Portland, where he 
immediately curled up in their bed & breathed a sigh of relief. So, as 
you can see, there are some potential problems with hiking with dogs. My 
best advise is to be prepared for any first aid needs. On the trail, 
whenever we approached a shelter, I made the dogs either get back 
(another learned command) or put them on a leash until we could assess 
the situation: whether there were other dogs there, people cooking, etc.
trying to avoid any potential problems. 
	One of the people at the AT Hdqtrs. the other week was telling me 
that often they see dogs come in with cracked paws & that they were 
perhaps doing more than they should. I found it important to adjust my 
pace to what we all could tolerate. At one point, we skipped a section in 
Va. as it was midsummer & there were drought conditions on the ridge. I 
don't mind pushing myself, but use more caution with my pets. 
	One last thing, I put garbage bags inside their packs, plus used 
freezer ziplocks for their food as dogs tend to lie down in the creeks 
whenever....
	Enjoy! Pat

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