Yesterday N and I decided to head up to the Three Sisters Wilderness for a short but scenic hike to Green Lake. This portion of the wilderness area requires dogs to be on leash, so we brought the extendable one for extra fun, seeing how challenged Soleil is on one. N had just read the Dog Whisperer’s book, and had been parroting all the things that ‘Cesar says’, and was eager to show me how alpha he was with our mutt on a leash.
The trail itself is wide and gentle, not like most of the trails I’m used to hiking at Lake Tahoe. It followed a creek up for about 4 miles, with log bridge crossings at various points. It being Sunday afternoon, we passed a ton of people descending, most with dogs on leashes, though a few were openly scoffing the leash law. When we arrived at Green Lake, the dog was panting and hot, and we figured a swim would do her good. However, for her to swim comfortably, we unleashed her. Not thirty seconds after the first splash, who should arrive but Ranger Dick, looking crisp in his Forest Service uniform, and trying to maintain a stern, a**hat demeanor while surreptitiously hiding his chocolate pudding cup snack. He asked us why the dog was off leash and N explained, which didn’t appease him at all. He read us his riot act, and I let N deal with this, since I would have probably said something snarky and borderline rude. It took some skillful mediation on the part of my boyfriend to appease Mr. Pudding Cup, but in the end the ranger relented. Ironically enough he recommended that we leave the ‘overused’ area where we were and instead go off trail to use another underused shoreline. I don’t think he saw the inherent contradiction here – perhaps he just wanted us out so he could finish eating in peace?
Despite my teasing about the Dog Whisperer, I was impressed that N could keep the dog on a heel for most of the 4+ mile hike back. Maybe he’s got something here, but no way am I going to massage her kibble so my scent is on her food. Ick.