I have taken Valkyrie hiking with me for years. She is an amazing hiker. In the past I have let her run off leash, even in places that say a dog needs to be leashed. I would try to find parks that had signs posted saying "dogs must be under owners control" so that we wouldn't be breaking the law. I figured she would expend more energy running loose than going at my much slower than canine pace. But recently I have had to face reality- Valkyrie does not get along with all dogs. We have been lucky that in the past we never had any really negative encounters with other dogs. But I am not willing to take that risk anymore. Valkyrie is a leashed dog now. Permanently. I love her too much to take chances with her life. There are way too many chances for circumstances beyond my control when out in the woods. I really thought that Valkyrie would pitch a fit when I kept her leash on her but she was a perfect little lady. No pulling at all. Perhaps she is finally growing up. Or perhaps it's all the hours spent on little walks near the house working on leash manners. Whatever the reasoning, I love it. I love hiking with my girl.
My nine year old dog still acts like a puppy. She has limitless amounts of energy. She could go all day as long as she is with me. Exercise is great for her anxiety too. The more tired she is the less likely she will be anxious when I leave the house. And the exercise is of course good for me too. I'm still slightly out of shape from my surgeries but I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. I love working the hours that I do because it leaves my afternoons free to go hiking with Valkyrie. Crossing my fingers for beautiful weather the rest of the summer and fall. Not too hot and no rain on my days off. I'm not asking for much!