Pyrrha’s first hike and introduction to the river

Last Saturday was lovely and warm and cloudless, and so we reasoned it was high time to get out and take Pyrrha on her first mini-hike. It’s exciting to do things like this with her, to realize that this is the first time Pyrrha has ever been on a hike with people; this is the first time she has ever seen a river, or golf carts rumbling past, or a little boy and his father mowing back part of the trail. Even though she is a year old, everything is still so new to her.

Rivanna Trail hike
Eager girl!

We set out on a trail system that loops around our city. It winds around the big river in town and it’s fairly quiet and easily accessible from our new house. The trail was very overgrown in places, but it was a beautiful day to be outside. (It was also a great test of how well Pyrrha’s Frontline worked, with all that brush. Miraculously, she didn’t pick up a single tick! Although she was very muddy and sprinkled with burrs…)

Rivanna Trail hike
Rivanna River.

Pyrrha’s big test of the day was “fording” the river. The trail crossed over the high, muddy river and we all had to cross it to continue.

Rivanna Trail hike
Cautiously sniffing out the river.

She sniffed the water nervously at first, but Guion took her lead and stepped out onto a rock. She followed him willingly.

Rivanna Trail hike
In the water!
Rivanna Trail hike
Maybe this isn’t so bad after all…

When she slipped off a rock and into the deep part of the river, you could see her eyes widen with fear–as her whole body, minus her head, was submerged–but she figured it out quickly and didn’t seem too traumatized. She hopped up on a big rock and shook herself off. When we turned around and headed back home, she walked into the river on her own accord and even seemed to enjoy it a bit. She is going to be a “real” dog yet!

Rivanna Trail hike
I think I like it out here.
Rivanna Trail hike
Pyrrha and me.
Rivanna Trail hike
Happy and tired.

We had such a good afternoon with her and I was so proud of her. The trail itself got a bit confusing, due to construction and its surprising intersection with a pristine golf course, so we didn’t make it out to the big park I wanted to visit, but at least we know how the trail goes now. And now we know that Pyrrha can handle a lot more than I think she can. Can’t wait to take another excursion with her!


4 thoughts on “Pyrrha’s first hike and introduction to the river

  1. We have great fun hiking with our dogs! Morgan does SO well on hikes, and I think she needs the extra mental stimulation she gets when we hike. Watching Kuster learn to swim this summer had been a lot of fun, too.

    Just a word of caution about the Frontline, though. It’s not a deterrent. It will kill fleas and ticks if they bite your dog, but it won’t keep them from getting on. Your dog can still get tick bourne diseases because they will still bite before they get the poison that kills them. We’re planning on getting the lyme vaccine for our dogs soon.

  2. This looks and sounds like such a lovely trail. How exciting that Pyrrha didn’t seem to mind the water after her first initial shock. She is really gaining a lot of confidence!

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