|Lower Calf Creek Falls|
Our Boston Terrier seems to enjoy hiking days, so he was along for the walk, too. In retrospect, that was NOT a good idea. Not today. Not here. We were taking bets as to when he would flop in the shade and refuse to go any further. He didn't even make it all the way to the falls before he was showing signs of resistance. Marley pants like any normal dog, under the circumstances. It's what he does when he has had enough that baffles the dog whisperer in me. He simply refuses to move. We tug on his leash, and he is dragged in the sand. We whistle, we beg, we offer words of encouragment. His passive-agressive nature is what surfaces when
temperatures soar and moods plummet.
What's a hiker to do? We took every opportunity to dunk him in the creek to cool him off. We offered water. We kept his coat damp. We rested in the shady spots that are sporadically available along the trail. Every once in awhile, we hoisted him up and carried him along the way. It worked, for awhile.
When we reached the water falls, we all relished the breezes and the misty droplets in the air. We took off our shoes and relieved our feet in the cold moutain water. Marley seemed to be somewhat rejuvenated. After playing in the water and taking in the scenery for a respectable amount of time, we decided it was time to brave the elements once more, and head back to the scorching heat of the trail.
To Marley's credit, he tried to give it a go. He made an effort to get back to the car. It was just SOOO hot. He languished in any small patch of shade he could find. We continued to cool him off internally and externally. I knew he had finally had it when he sat on his haunches and held his front paws off the heated sand while his haunches rested in the tiniest patch of shade. We decided we would have to carry our poor litte Boston Baked Bean. My son picked him up and carried him to the creek. He rinsed off most of the red sand and then Bridger placed Marley across my shoulders much like ancient shepherds carried their lambs long ago. (My knowledge of ancient shepherds comes from stained glass windows at the church of my childhood.)
Then we took turns carrying that little 15 pound pup. Honestly, the evaporating water from his body cooled our necks. I had visions of Aesop's Fable about the Miller, His Son, and the Donkey. I'm sure some of the passing hikers thought we'd lost it and some found us to be compassionate. I really couldn't worry about what anyone else thought at that time. We couldn't stand to see him suffer any more.
Marley had no lasting effects and this morning, he is sleeping soundly in his recliner he graciously shares with me. Would we hike Calf Creek again? You bet! But unless it's the dead of winter, I think we'll let Marley off the hook for any future forays into the desert.