Thus far it’s been busy, and will be busy for a few more weeks before things ramp down a bit. Gathering supplies for her trip to Israel, Maggie needed some hiking boots, which is how she heard about Hamilton Mountain trail from the nice shoe salesman. He said the views were amazing, so we figured out how to get there. Knowing only that the shoe salesman thought it was a beautiful hike, and the need for Maggie to break in her new shoes, we piled into the Prius.
We left around eleven, which on a non-summer day would have meant Bear had already logged two hours of nap and eaten half a loaf. But this day Bear hadn’t logged but twenty minutes as he was attentive to the sandwiches being made, hoping for a treat to drop, and the packing of bags, which he may or may not know means a trip.
Either Bear gets bored with bags or he has learned that packing bags means an extended time away from his crew because he swung between being anxious for a piece of turkey to drop from the counter and hanging his head low, dropping to the ground as we packed bags for the hike.
It wasn’t until just prior to leaving that he saw the poop-bags and the scoop of kibbles taken for small treats that Bear got the signal that this trip he’d be coming on. And just in case we happened upon a ranger, I grabbed the leash, which was the final signal for Bear that he was indeed coming on the trip.
Not only did Maggie need to break in her shoes, but she also needs more practice driving, so she was at the wheel. She is an extremely safe driver, which is great, but she may not yet the best changer of lanes or merger. And this is why we practice, but it is still stressful riding co-pilot as the pilot takes her foot completely off the gas to prepare to change lanes on the freeway, which is really the opposite of what should be happening. Changing lanes becomes immensely more difficult with a pile of cars honking behind you, and cars flashing by on both the left and right sides. We survived and arrived in one piece.
At this point Bear had only managed twenty minutes of napping with all the commotion while driving, clearly under his preferred normal 200 minutes accumulated on a normal day. However, Bear, like most dogs, is very adaptable and showed no signs of fatigue during the hike.
Knowing that sustained exercise, even just walking, lowers blood sugar in both Dec and Maggie, we checked blood sugars. Maggie was fine, but Dec was low, a by-product of dosing for a bagel but not eating it. A bagel is packed with carbs, so it was a large dose he’d given earlier and had already treated one low from it. (Sidenote: Dec is now on a pump, which has been great, but we are still adjusting to it a bit)
Bear picked up on the bags being packed and the lunches being made, but he missed the low blood sugar, and he napped with his head on Dec’s lap. I told Dec that Bear didn’t signal because of the commotion and excitement of being out in the wilderness, in a new place with a lot of new smells. However, I’m coming to terms with Bear just being a pet. The saga is not over, but it tips in that direction.
We treated the low and got moving, stopping every mile or two to check blood sugar and snack. We never made it to the place on the hike with amazing views, the one that sold Maggie on the hike, but we made it to some really nice waterfalls. We ate. Bear drank. And we hiked back. In all it was probably around seven miles.
There were no more low blood-sugars for the day, and the drive back did not invoke any high-blood pressure incidents. I think I was just tired and didn’t pay as much attention, which is probably healthier for both teacher and student.
The following day we went surfing. Dec and Bear came along. Again there was a non-signaled low-blood sugar. A decision needs to be made over whether to make one more effort to train this dog of ours, or to be happy with having an extremely happy (and expensive) pet.