Thursday, May 15, 2014

Susie The Airedale: My Trail Companion Part I

Dale Matson

Sharon With Brown and Puppie Susie

Sharon and I selected Susie at Fort Sage Kennels in Doyle California about eight years ago. Our first Airedale, Brown came from there also. She made it back over Donner Pass pretty well, which was the first travel test. Brown was sick the entire time and never did get accustomed to car travel. By the time Susie arrived, he was getting pretty long in the tooth and tried to ignore her as much as possible. She was unimpressed with his massive size and challenged him at every turn. He “mentored” her in the house rules and she was a quick study. Everybody loved Brown but Susie….not so much. She has some redeeming features such as her willingness to stay on lead when I jog. She is low maintenance but insistent about getting her way.

Susie Swimming In The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

Cooling Off Before Trip Back At Florence Lake

Waiting For The Water Taxi At Edison Lake

She has kept in shape over the years by running with me twice a week in addition to her daily walks. She is a swimmer while her older brother Brown avoided water and her younger brother Duke avoids water at all costs. She has been my “go to” trail companion on many trips into the Sierra National Forest. Dogs are not allowed on the trails of the National Parks.

I Paid The Lower Rate For Susie's Passage On The Ferry 

If she is inside during the loading process, she will simply sit by the door into the garage and dart out in an unguarded moment. I have learned that when I am ready to leave for a hike, I put her outside because each item I take to my vehicle is another clue that she will be going with me.

 Susie At Nellie Lake With Sharon And A Friend
Susie At Kaiser Peak

Moonlight Hike To Kaiser Peak

As I reviewed my photographs, I was amazed how much travel she has done with us in general and me in particular. This is written at a time when she is now long in the tooth and no longer capable of mountain hikes. Our longest hike together was 18 miles round trip from Florence Lake to Kings Canyon and back as a day hike. Thank God there were lots of creeks along the way for water and cooling. This piece is a trip down memory lane in photographs.

1 comment:

  1. Part II is here: