Tom loves to climb on any kinds of rocks and finds it enjoyable, just like any mountain climber would! Sugi finds it to be a challenge and will try it out, but sometimes he will ask for help. He doesn’t like to jump from rock to rock and prefers to find easy ways to get from one place to another.
We noticed that Sugi has an ability to concentrate without distraction. Sometimes he gets so focused on a scent that he doesn’t hear us calling him! We thought we would put this ability to practical use. A couple of years ago we did a tracking lesson with the owner of Canine Spirit (where Tom went to obedience school). She taught us how to track (follow a scent trail) and how to search (locate a scented item). Since then we have been training Sugi to find chanterelle mushrooms on our hikes! He is still learning how to do this…but he is also practicing his tracking ability every time we take him out on the trail. He seems to love finding a scent trail and then following it.
I don’t know why, but Sugi seems to always get bee stings in the summer. Tom not so much. This morning we did a quick hike on the Baden Powell and Sugi got stung! It’s difficult to know what stung him, but he was favoring a spot on his leg and asking me to do something about it. I carry a few homeopathic remedies (Arnica, Apis…) in my waist pack when I’m hiking. I gave him a few granules of apis but they are the big human kind so he just spat them out. For the rest of the hike he just passively walked behind me, hobbling a bit. When we got home I gave him some tiny canine sized apis granules and he calmed right down. I got this from my vet. The remedies come in a little kit with a bunch of other different remedies. Very handy to have for trauma for dogs…
One day we were discussing hiking trails around Hyannis Drive with our dog walker Judy Lopes. We told her that we like to go up the Baden Powell Trail, but the walk back down under the power lines was not very interesting. She told us about the route she takes with the dogs which runs parallel to the Baden Powell coming back down to the starting point. She suggested we just ask Tom and Sugi to show us the trail the next time we’re there and they will be able to lead us. Sure enough, the next time we took the trail up, they gestured towards a steep trail heading down and they guided the way back to the starting point (around 1.5-2km). From then on, we called this trail “The Tom + Sugi Trail”.
Near Blareview Drive in North Vancouver, there’s an area of forest recently thinned out for forest fire prevention. This left a lot of stumps and logs laying around. This area also has had frequent black bear sitings. Hiking through this area, sometimes Sugi starts barking. I look around and don’t see anyone or any bears (thankfully! )He then realizes that he’s just imagining shapes out of the debris.