Copper and Chaos

Agility adventures

Cape Breton Woods

The red dog& I don’t always spend our days training agility. In fact, I would guess, we only spend about 30 minutes a day actively working on agility. The rest of the time? We go for off leash walks around Cape Breton. This time of year, especially, reminds me just how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place. The leaves are changing, the temperature is crisp& it’s like the last little piece of joy before a long, cold winter sets in.

Penny loving that she managed to find an elusive stick in the open part of the park!

Penny loving that she managed to find an elusive stick in the open part of the park!

Penn is a Vizsla ..which means being off leash, sniffing things& running like a maniac is pretty much her most ideal way to spend the day/ the week/ her entire life. We make a point to try to hike several different spots in Cape Breton, but we do have some absolute favorite spots that we frequent more than others. Okay, I’ll be honest. They are my favorite spots. Penny doesn’t care what location we hike, she thinks every hike is the greatest hike ever!! I think the only time she’s ever sad during a hike is when we get back to the car& the hike is over.

Vizsla energy is endless. A few weeks ago, I went for a hike with a friend& his Dalmation, Scout. We decided to be adventurous, we lost our way& an iPhone ..and it turned into a true adventure. Scout doesn’t lack in the energy department, but long after he had gotten tired of chasing squirrels, Penny was still trying to convince him to keep running like a lunatic. Poor Scout. Poor humans. We were so glad when we finally found the right path& my iPhone. Penny was, once again, disappointed that such a FUN afternoon was ending after only 2+ hours of enjoyment.

I am positive that if Penny could talk human, she would speak in a really high voice& communicate solely in run on sentences. Especially when it came to being in the woods. Her zest for life is truly infectious and if you ever have a chance to hit the woods with any hunting bred dog, you should do it.

Really ..this is all your going to see of the dog anyway.

Really ..this is all your going to see of the dog anyway.

A Vizsla may be an elusive sight while you’re hiking, but they will check back in frequently and there’s rarely a fear of them disappearing for too long. They tend to be a mix between hunting& handler focused. I’ve hiked with Penn in 2 provinces and several different spots& locations ..she always manages to find me despite my best efforts. Kidding, kidding. Sometimes I can only her running through the trees in the distance but all it takes is a whistle& a name call to get her to come back to me. Considering my first dog can never, ever be let off leash because he’ll run away and literally won’t come back, it’s such a lovely change to have a reliable off leash dog.

Penny& I share a bond that I wouldn't trade for the world..

Penny& I genuinely love each other despite our agility struggles!

So, does anyone else hike with their dogs? And, if you’re in Cape Breton, do you have any great hidden gem hiking trails that Penny& I can test out? We tend to stay off the main trails because the island isn’t very dog friendly& so dogs aren’t allowed off leash on more populated trails. I want to be a good doggy ambassador to show that there are appropriate owners& well-mannered dogs. If you aren’t on the island, is where you live dog friendly or are you fighting an uphill battle as well? I am hoping that, eventually, a few bad apples will stop spoiling it for the rest of us!


6 comments on “Cape Breton Woods

  1. Elizabeth
    October 20, 2013

    Hi! Yes I love to hike with my vizsla. That is why I got her! I wanted a companion for my walks. I have been to Cape Breton a few years ago and hope to be back one day. It is such a beautiful place! We live in Oakville (beside Toronto) and I started to take my dog on walks in the woods when she was 4 months old. It was scary to let her off the leash first, it was in Lake Superior Prov. park, but she always stayed close. As she got older her range grew, but she always comes back to check on me that I often reward with treats. She is my first dog, she is 1.5 years now. I hiked with her here in Ontario, in Pennsylvania, Blue Ridge mountains, walked the beaches of Florida etc. But it was a big eye opener to realize how dogs are not allowed off leash basically anywhere in the country! I find that ridiculous and do not obey it as that would be torture for a V. But I know I risk getting fined. I understand that dogs can be bothersome in certain situations, but so can be people… Most dog owners know when to let their dog off leash, and when not. And most people do like dogs, and the small minority who are afraid should maybe learn about dog behaviour, as there are millions of dogs living in this country. I take her to dog parks, but they are few and too small, not enough exercise for an active dog. And very boring for me!
    So I try to find spots and times of day in town where there are not too many people, or the ones there are tolerant of dogs, and let her off. I made lots of friends through dog walking, as vizslas (at least mine) are very friendly both with people and with dogs. I find it hard that certain people who do not know this breed think she may be nasty, just because she looks muscular. But these are rare incidents. Over the past year I learnt not to worry about the few people who are ignorant. I do not let them spoil my fun!

    • yv0nnej
      October 21, 2013

      So very neat that you have been to Cape Breton :) If you ever make it back, bring your girl& we’ll have a Vizsla play date! There are only 4 on the island and Penn has yet to get to interact with any of them. We have let Penny off leash since she was 8wks old ..there have been moments where I questioned if it was the right thing to do. Especially when she bounced up on strangers. Thankfully, we’ve broken that habit with a fabulous leave it command& now we enjoy quiet walks on less popular trails to be good rule obeyers but also get some serious trail hiking done!

  2. Em
    October 21, 2013

    Well, as you might have seen, I love hiking with my two, and we have some friends who come with us sometimes with their dogs, too. Lumen sounds much like Penny in her love of running through the bush- sometimes I put some bells on her collar so a) she can scare off any kangaroos before she sees them (yeah, right) and b) I can have a bit more of an idea of where she’s gotten to in the scrub. ;)
    Unfortunately here in Aus, hiking with dogs is very restricted. We can really only take them to “state forests” which are the really crummy bits of forests where people ride dirt-bikes and where they log trees, and where there usually isn’t very much to see or do, or even any walking trails to walk (so you walk alongside the 4WD roads and hope that no idiots on dirt-bikes come screaming along).
    I don’t think they’ve ever considered, or will consider, letting dogs in nicer places. They’re very particular about native animals, although I’m sure there’s some research that shows that when there’s dogs in parks, there’s less foxes and feral cats eating wildlife.
    And if there’s not, there should be. ;)

    • yv0nnej
      October 22, 2013

      I put a bell on Penn when she’s in the hunt field but I never thought to do it for hikes! Clever ..especially during autumn.
      Canada is really starting to cut down on dogs in National Parks and the likes, as well. It sucks and I think you’re right- it has to do with native species. I just want to take my dog to ALL the beautiful places!

      • Em
        October 23, 2013

        Oh no! That’s terrible they’re cutting down on dogs- imagine how many more people would be out enjoying parks and getting active if they could have their dogs.
        I had a thought the other day that our parks department should charge say $50 or even $100 per dog for a parks permit – that way, only people who were dead keen on hiking with their dogs would, and people who would just go in to harass wildlife wouldn’t (or would anyway because they probably already would anyway!)

        I was so jealous in Europe that dogs could just go hiking anywhere. Boo to them.

      • yv0nnej
        October 24, 2013

        Yeah, it’s a shame that a few bad people& dogs tend to spoil it for all the good ones. It would be fabulous to see dogs need to buy a ‘hiking pass’ if that meant that it would encourage more dog friendly parks! I would definitely support that. I think my dog& I will pack up and head to Europe. That sounds lovely!

Thoughts here!

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2013 by in Penny and tagged , , , .
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