A.J. Goes Hiking

May 11, 2014

We had a lot of good today, and some ickyness.

Let’s start with the good. We decided to take A.J. on his first hike today. We went to an area that has a combination of on and off leash dog trails there. We decided we could start with on, see how he did, and if he wasn’t crazy we’d move to off.

I’ll start by saying that A.J. did great. We met a group of hikers right away, and they stopped and petted him. Next we met a family with a husband, wife, small son, and a dog. We moved off the trail to let them pass. The husband came first with the dog. As he passed he said hello, then asked “You’re training a puppy too?”

I replied “Yes, he sometimes has a little trouble with other dogs.”

“Ours too.”

But he walked by with no problems at all, no reaction from A.J. The mom came by with her little boy and asked if he could pet A.J. We said yes, and A.J. stood still and let the boy pet him – with one good lick to the face, of course. But we were so proud of him.

The rest of the hike was full of bikes and people and dogs. I let A.J. have the full length of the leash until someone came by, then I would call to him and he’d come right to me and wait nicely for them to go by. A couple of the dogs were running and got him excited, but overall he was wonderful. The highlight of the day was a bike rider who came by as we were standing just off the trail. He said “I wish my springer was that well behaved.”

So we had a fabulous morning. A.J. pulled too hard when I gave him the leash, and corrections didn’t work. I’ll have to ask our trainer, Jerry, about that. But otherwise he was just a wonderful dog to go hiking with. Yay!

Now to the icky part: Tonight I found a tick on A.J. I put flea and tick medicine on him last week, but I guess it didn’t work. I’d never seen a tick before, but that was obviously what it was. It was stuck to his shoulder. Greg had his computer out, so I went to grab some tweezers while Greg looked up exactly what we needed to do. And here’s what that was:

I put some rubbing alcohol in a jar and, along with the tweezers, grabbed a tube of Neosporin. We took A.J. outside and Greg held him while I located the tick again. I tried to grab it and A.J. pulled away. I found it again, and this time I stopped being squeamish long enough to grab the thing I pull. It came right off and I dumped the tick in the jar of alcohol. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find the spot to put the Neosporin on, but the hair was still kind of separated and there was a little welt there, so I’m sure I got it in the right spot. Hopefully it heals up well. And hopefully that’s the only one. Poor guy.