Amore loves to run. She runs just for the hell of it. And, when she knows it walk-time, she is besides herself with excitement. She knows she’ll get to run. Amore knows when we put on our hiking boots, its run time. Amore and Dolce are out the gate and into the car in three seconds flat. They can cut the load-up time in half if the tailgate on the SUV is already down and the truck is backed up to the gate. We like to take the girls out to the Galisteo Basin for their daily walk. There are some great hiking trails and the two love to chase jackrabbits and cottontails. It’s quiet, not a lot of people know about the preserve and we’re able to let them run off leash without worrying.
Of the two, Amore is our scout when on the trail. She’ll run ahead of us, looking for movement of any kind. Birds, lizards, horny-toads, she is off like a shot when her attention is grabbed. She gets about 50 yards ahead, looking back at us to ensure we’re still a comin. A couple years ago, we started training them to return at the call of a whistle. We would reward them with a treat when they hustled back to us, making them sit before they received their prize. Amore picked up on the game quickly – knowing there was a treat to be had, she would run full throttle back (without being called) and sit at our feet waiting for her treat. If we didn’t give her the goods, she would stand in front of us and not let us pass, determined to get her nibble. One time, just as we were starting out on our hike, Amore ran past us up the path. looped around a Pinon tree that was only 10 yards ahead and came back in a hurry. She sat down and gave us that look that said, “see-how-good-I-am-now-give-me-my-treat”!
Now Dolce, she is smarter and wiser. She usually trots behind us, letting Amore get a ways up the trail. When we blow the whistle, she is already in place, siting on her haunches, waiting. She has figured out she has a 50/50 chance she just might get an extra bite in before Amore arrives back. And, smart dog that she is, she usually does get that extra treat! Dolce is our sniffer. She likes to lollygag her way through our trek. She’ll stop to smell who’s been by, sniff every low hanging branch and leaf, check out what wildlife has been through and leave her scent on every weed and bush. She is especially crafty when it comes to eating something she’s not suppose to. She’ll hang back just far enough that she’s able to nab a horse apple before you can call her on it. Horse crap on a dog’s breath is NOT pleasant!
Malcolm and I pay the price on those weather-ridden days the girls don’t get their walk. Two dogs, full of energy, cooped up in a house is not a good scenario. Shoes go missing, toilet paper gets shredded, rugs are in disarray. Then the sumo wrestling starts – body slamming and tail-chasing is not an indoor sport. Leap frog is the next entertainment and the competition is fierce. Dolce has the lead in jumping. Amore wins hands down on speed. They are two for two for most creative crashes.
Like those parents who tote their children to sports practice at 5:00 in the morning, we drive our “kids” to the basin for their walk. In the snow, cold and wind, (I won’t walk in the rain) we bring the girls to their special spot of nature and let’em run and sniff to their heart’s content. The happiness in their eyes is worth it.