Friday, July 1, 2016

Hot weather hikes

I haven't done a lot of hiking since I stopped to do spring time yard work.  That has settled down to a maintenance level now, so I know I need to get back out on the trails more often.  It's tough to feel motivated when it's hot and humid, and even the dogs aren't so anxious to get out.  Maya was needing it as much as I was, however, so we did a nice five miler on Thursday, just the two of us.  I slept so well that night that I realized how much I was needing to get back to the exercise routine.

I took Maya out again on Friday in the middle of the afternoon, but we just went for two miles. That was far enough to satisfy her and it gave me a chance to do a second short hike later in the afternoon, this time with Sparky.  I haven't hiked with Sparky since the weather turned warm and now it was hot.  He bounded off with his usual enthusiasm, however, and off we went.  After the first mile it became apparent that Sparky was struggling.  We slowed down, a lot, and stopped to rest periodically.  He seemed to be limping a bit, but what worried me more was his breathing.  He was panting pretty heavily, of course, but he was also huffing and it seemed that he was more than just hot.  We took it slow, we went through the water, but in the last 100 yards he actually stopped and laid down three different times.

We made it back to the van and I turned on the air conditioning and then lifted him into the back.  He was standing, he hadn't collapsed or anything, but he seemed to be in distress.  I called Clay on the way home and asked him to have the hose running with cold water when we arrived.  We hosed him off to cool him down and brought him indoors to his crate to rest.  He finally cooled down and calmed down.  Later in the evening he bounded out of his crate like nothing was wrong and went out to eat his dinner.

No more hot weather hikes for Sparky.  I  have a vet appointment scheduled for Max on Tuesday just for regular vaccines, but I think I'll take Sparky along in his place.  I think he had some heat exhaustion this afternoon, but I'm concerned about his heart as well.  I checked his paperwork and he was at least eight years old this past spring.  Gigi is eight as well, and Trooper must be up there too.  Vince and Samantha are both about 14.  We've got a lot of senior dogs around here once again.

Sparky was excited to be out hiking again and for the first mile he seemed ok.
He insisted on stopping at this spot and after giving it a good sniff he rolled around on it.
I don't know what it was, but it must have smelled good to him.

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