Dog & Pony Show

The never-ending question…Do you take your dog with you when you go riding or leave it at home?  Is there a right answer?  How could you ever leave Fido at home? He is part of the family, and look at those big brown eyes…Isn’t he cute and so well behaved? I also always hear… My dog is good with my horses.  Well it should be, they live together.  Mine goes out and feeds with me twice a day. I let him out and he goes and hangs out with the mules.  But other horses on the trail don’t know your dog, and your dog doesn’t know them.  I pack with a guy all summer; he doesn’t even own a dog, his stock doesn’t even know what a dog is, all he owns is Turbo the kitty.  I get asked all the time do you take your dog with you? The answer is always NO!!  Don’t take me wrong, I would love to take Odie with me, but too much can go wrong.  It’s a safety thing.  I ride with a lot of folks that always bring their trail dog with them, it runs ahead and alerts oncoming traffic that a pack string is headed their way. They think they have control…well verbally anyways.  But do they really?  Last summer a good friend headed into the Great Bear Wilderness and took his dog.  His dog has packed literally 1000’s of miles with us.  The dog swam the river, then ran off up the hill in deep thick underbrush. When he worked his way back to the trail it spooked one of the pack horses.  The pack horse bucked, then reared, then came down on the old trail dog. The pack string blew apart and ran every different direction. All in all it took 3 days to find all the stock, 4 days picking up scattered gear, and $600 in vet bills to patch up the dog.  Does this happen all the time? No, but it could.  Do I still want to take Odie “YES,” but I probably still won’t.  By now most of you are saying this won’t happen to me…That’s what my buddy always said to me when telling me he’s bringing his dog. Be safe out there.

Pour another cup, spring is coming I promise…. The snow won’t last forever.


Comment on this post (4 comments)

  • Marci says...

    A friend took her dog trail riding with her as always but this time was different. She was riding alone in the wilderness and her dog ran up ahead of her. Nothing new… but this time it brought back Javelina that were chasing it. Scared her horse, it shied, she fell off and broke her wrist. Could not get back on. Had to lead her horse, until someone finally encountered her and helped her. Two years later her wrist is finally back to normal. Doesn’t take her dog with her any more.

    January 18, 2017

  • John says...

    I’m just sad Chuck doesn’t have a dog! We need to find Chuck a dog.

    January 11, 2017

  • Scott says...

    I see your point as well. Will still bring my dog every time. I like the bell idea though.

    January 11, 2017

  • Rob says...

    I can see your point. I always take my dog but don’t ride public trails. To prevent the dog from scaring our horses, he has a bell on so they can hear him even if they cannot see him.

    January 11, 2017

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