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Re: Dogs in town/on the trail

On Wed, 27 Mar 1996 rmarkham@VNET.IBM.COM wrote:
> Are there any thru-hikers out there that have had
> experience hiking with their dogs?  How do you
> handle your town visits and are there any references
> that you can point me to that might list dog-friendly
> stop-over points?
	I forwarded a message Joe Castle had sent last
Jan. regarding shuttle info...esp. useful for around the Smokies as dogs 
aren't allowed there.

> I know the opinions are mixed on dogs on the trail,
> but I have every intention of having my dog sleep
> in my tent, not in the shelters, and he is a very
> well-behaved mature dog.
I'm a dog person myself & took mine on the trail in 81
- we were called "the Last Menagerie" as we got a late start and I was 
the only human. (I'm the last of the last menagerie....sorta like the
last of the Mohichans, no? One of my prime concerns was to ensure the 
dogs didn't utilize the springs that we hikers had to get our water from. 
Back then, many of us didn't do the boiling bit & the small water filters 
were either not on the market or very expensive. But it's still good 
neighborliness to not taint the water! We sometimes slept in shelters & 
then we shared one space unless the shelter wasn't full. Over the course 
of the months, they picked up several new commands such as "you don't cut 
switchbacks", stay on the trail, get back, etc. Even when we came across 
a deer on the trail, they froze in place, although quivering with desire 
to run after it..
...... how much of an increase in your dog's eating habits
> did you notice while on the trail and did you feel
> the need to add additional kinds of food (fat sources?)
> to your dog's diet?
I used the high-pro dog food, but now there's a lot of better products on 
the market that give more food with less filler. I also supplemented 
their food with occasional mac & cheese (esp. if I found I was carrying 
too much). They carried their own food. Since I was not a lightening 
hiker, the dogs went at a reasonable pace.They never seemed to get 
depleted, and maintained their wt. I enjoy hiking with my pet and have 
just gotten a new pup who'll become a hiking companion. I think the key 
is to have a well-minded dog who's under control. Keep an eye on their 
paws for cracking and check for any abrasions from the doggie pack..I had 
to make some adjustments on ours. 
BTW, they now have a lyme disease vaccine for dogs, probably a good 
preventive measure for out in the woods. The tick collar at the vets 
works well too. I live in a wooded community & used it on my older dog 
with good results.
	Happy Hiking! Pat