These two – my furry, nuggets of unconditional love – are my always eager hiking companions. They are quick to rush out the door, straining hard against their leashes, taking me along whether I’m ready or not.
Hershey, our nearly 8-year-old grandame, a Valentine’s presents from a long-gone high school boyfriend, is the calm to Asta’s amped up energy.
Asta, our petite snuggler, came to us broken, but was aggrandized with gold. She never looked back, nor let her fierce beginnings slow her down. Always pulling with the heart of an Iditarod musher, she stops only to sniff or pee on something, and everything. Confident in her tracking skills, no squirrel stands a chance against her.
Timid, yet protective, Hershey keeps checking on me. Stopping to turn back and reassure herself that I haven’t vanished and am still securely attached to the other end of her lead. Her exertion-induced, slobber slick face, planted firmly in my crotchal region until I scratch an ear or smooth her neck. Then off she goes, taking her place at the head of the trail.
I’m grateful for:
- My Labs, Hershey and Asta
- State Parks with marked hiking trails
- Dark, water-resistant outdoor pants
- Unconditional puppy love