Saturday, October 23, 2010

a hike on the trails, a swim in the lake and a busted up shin

Friday afternoon I was running around trying to get all my errands done before work and still get in a short hike with the dogs to burn some of their energy. Needless to say the day got away from me and I ended up having a lot less time to hike than originally planned. I knew if I didn't get them out of the house even for just a short hike they might tear down the place and I might not get any sleep the next morning coming off of nightshift.
I decided in an effort to get the most out of our hike we would hit the closet trail to the house, a trail I'm really not fond of due to it's off camber sections and little to no access to water even though the trail runs parallel to the lake along most of the hike. That side of the lake is really rocky and there is almost no shoreline. It's been a while since we've hiked this trail and Friday reminded me just why that is. The trail to begin with is poorly constructed but if you hike all the way to the end will take you to a beach area great for dog swimming. The problem was we didn't have time to hike all the way to the beach, but some hiking was better than none.
The entire hike Moonshine was constantly looking for a place to go for a swim and eventually she did. She's a pretty agile dog and has scaled some hillsides that have made me wonder if there are goats somewhere in her family tree. Jackson on the other hand is as clumsy as it gets, I really have to keep an eye on him sometimes or he can really get himself hurt.
As we were heading back to the car Jackson followed Moonshine down to the water as she continued to search for a good hole to jump in. I don't think he had any intention of getting in but as approached the water he stepped on a slick rock and in he went. I didn't see it happen but I did hear the splash. Not really much of a swimmer he flopped around in the water with was filled with large rocks trying to get out. His only exit point was a large slap of slick rock too steep and slick for him to climb up. Every time he tried to scale it he would make it about a third of the way up and then slide back into the water below. I tried reaching him from the rock but he was too far away from me. I also tried to coax him to walk up the shore but the rocks were so big and jagged he refused to move after a couple of failed attempts to walk left him falling down. I took a chance and climbed down the rock after I found a small ledge to step on but the rock was too steep and slick for me to drag Jackson's 100 lbs up. In an effort to find another route I slipped and stepped in the water soaking my right foot. Irritated I climbed back out and tried again to get him to walk down the shore but he still refused. After a couple more times of him trying to climb the rock and falling in the water I climbed back down to try and calm him down before he hurt himself.
While I was trying to help Jackson, Moonshine had found an old frisbee and brought it to me tossing it around in my face as I was trying to soothe Jackson. At the time it was really annoying but looking back on it now it was funny that all she cared about was playing when Jackson was all to hell and having a nervous breakdown. I knew once I got him home he would be reminding us of his traumatic experience for a while.
After another failed attempt of trying to get Jackson back up the rock I decided to climb back up and look for another option. As I turned around on the rock my foot slipped again but instead of land on my feet in the water I fell down the rock and landed on my back completely soaking myself and smashing my shin, hip & shoulder into the rocks below. If anyone would have seen us they would really have been entertained.
Completely soaked I climbed back out check myself for cuts and bruises and found only minor scrapes. At this point I was starting to stress as I was close to running late for work and it was looking like my only option was to go back down to the water, get in and force Jackson to swim around to the better exit area. Not really wanting to go that route I tried one final time to get him to make the trek by himself. Instead he made one more attempt to scale the rock but this time he managed to get halfway up and not slide down. I ran over to him and was able to grab his collar and drag him the rest of the way up and out of the water.
Later that evening what I thought were just minor scrapes and bruises turned into some really good sized lumps and a nice dark red bruise on my hip about the size of a golfball.
The next time I'm running short on time and the dogs are in need of some exercise I think we'll stick to a walk around the neighborhood on the leash.

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