Date: May 6, 2018
Location: Interstate State Park - Taylors Falls, MN
Length: 3.0 Miles
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: N/A
Hiking - I love it but lets face it some trails are easier than others. Sometimes it the day, my mood, the company... some days are just hard. This day was one of those days for a few reasons.
As most of you know - I mostly hike with my Mom. She is legally blind, normally I have no problem helping her through places and I love that she trusts me enough to go out and have these experiences that a lot of people in her situation would be too scared to try. But like I said this day was hard.
I also hike with my young rescue dog, Penny. Penny can best be described as a hyperactive untrusting anxious neurotic - who just wants everyone to love her but is also overly dominant. This sounds bad, I know - it is not that bad. She love to be out hiking she just has high anxiety with other dogs - this anxiety causes her to screech (best I can describe it) and bark and try to yank me closer to the other dog. This behavior of course terrifies people, which in turn makes me anxious. She was in a kill shelter for almost a year - who knows why she has this issue. I am told that the only way to fix it is to keep exposing her to her issues... FUN!
This day was one of the first nice days of the year. We went out early knowing this park fills up fast. I had already completed this Hiking Club trail so we were doing this one for my mom. I knew it would be tough on her but I didn't have a clue how tough. Taking a legally blind person to the edge of a cliff and having her climb over, up and down rocks she sometime cannot see is stressful.
The park filled up quickly and soon we weren't alone on the trails. People were impatient and didn't like waiting the extra time for me to help my mom in some of the more difficult sections and to make matters worse almost every person I passed had a dog sending Penny into waves of panic that got so bad that I would have to remove her from the trial as I saw dogs approaching. Anyone out there have experience with a dog like this? Any suggestions on how to help them?
The weather was beautiful but I prefer the more quiet parks or at least the bigger ones so you have more distance between you and the crowds. Besides on this day people were plain rude.