I've been trying out the new dog.
Longtime readers of this blog will remember a certain canine star, the late great Chloe. Chloe left us way too soon last winter. She was a GREAT hiker, bringing the need for speed and a craving for the chase to our woodland excursions. Check out a long, long list of "Poodle Posts" here.
They say every boy needs a dog. Well, just about every hiker does too. Especially when, like me, the hiker has to hike alone. So I've been trying out the new dog.
Daphne is a "parti" poodle, part black and part white...and all poodle. She was born just two days after Chloe met her fate last February, and she joined our family last spring. She's lovely.
The other day, I took Daphne out to the end of Duluth's Park Point, where Minnesota Avenue meets a gate and a dirt road continues past the Sky Harbor airport and into the pines.
Chloe was a sprinter, running out far ahead to stake her place. Daphne is a laggard, staying back to sample the smells and tastes.
Chloe would bark out into the world, longing for a response from another barking dog. Daphne is all about the smells, sniffing every conspicuous log for her news of the world.
On this walk, she stays close by, not quite as sure of her place in the world. This dog is domestic, a lap dog, out for a stroll with her people, not a high-octane wilderness adventure.
Then it's a return walk along the beach back to the parking lot. This dog stays close behind me...nice! Chloe's joy and downfall was her desire to explore and chase. Much to my relief, Daphne shows no inclination to run up the dunes out of sight.
Now it's the new dog. Daphne Delilah Slade, you're testing out okay.