Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Hike to Mt Zion near Quilcene Washington

 Mt Zion Trail - Olympic National Forest
Tim and Hank hit the Mt Zion Trail

Last week end we took a great hike to the top of Mt Zion in the Olympic National Forest.  It was a glorious sunny day in the Pacific Northwest and the Washington state flower, the Coast Rhododendron, was in bloom all along the lovely forested trail.

Driving Directions to the Mt Zion Trail Head (Courtesy of the WTA Website)

"From Quilcene drive US 101 north for 1.5 miles, turning left (west) onto Lords Lake Loop Road. In 3.5 miles turn left at a junction at Lords Lake (a public water supply). Continue for 0.7 mile, entering the Olympic National Forest. Bear right on gravel Forest Road 28 and climb 4.75 miles to an unmarked junction at Bon Jon Pass (pass the junction with FR 27). Bear right on FR 2810 and in 2.3 miles come to the Mount Zion trailhead."

This is considered one of the best rhododendron hikes in Washington- not that we canines care about that!  There are great smells to be enjoyed!  Since we got an early start, other than our Meet-up group of hikers with dogs, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves on the way up, so we enjoyed some off-leash time.

This is a great hike for a summer day since it is in the shade of large evergreen trees until the summit is reached.  In June there were still a few trickles of water for dogs to slurp, but later in the summer this will be a dry hike, so be sure to bring water for both humans and canines.

According to Washington Trails Association, the  elevation gain is a modest 1300 feet in 2.3 miles to the top with the total round trip distance 4.6 miles.

  The first vista from the top is at the site of where there was once a fire tower.

The trail continues along the ridge with several other views along the way, saving the best one for last before heading back down the trail.

View from the Summit of Mt Zion - Olympic National Forest - Washington

Mt Zion is another fabulous dog-friendly hike in the Pacific Northwest

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fireworks and Thundershirts

While many people eagerly look forward to the 4th of July Holiday, there are many pet owners who dread the seemingly endless explosions of fireworks we hear in our neighborhoods.  Many dogs including our border collie Tim, are terrified of the noise and it makes life pretty miserable.  He cowers and runs to hide in the bathroom in the basement and freaks out when we go on a walk.  Fortunately Tim runs toward us and not away, but many frightened dogs run away and are lost around the 4th of July every year.

If you have a dog who is fearful of fireworks and other loud noises, a product that I have heard good reviews about is Thundershirt and I think we'll get one and give it a try.  Please feel free to comment if you have experience with using a Thundershirt for your dog.

Thundershirt Medium Thundershirt Medium
An excellent treatment for most types of dog anxiety and fear issues. Creates a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect.

If your dog is afraid of the sounds of explosions on the fourth of July, it is best to keep your dog inside and if you will be leaving him or her alone, make sure they are in a secure place - even crated if necessary. And as added protection, make sure your dog has a collar with ID in case somehow he or she ends up on the loose.

Our Foster Sister Sasha Has Found a Great Home

Sasha - a border collie/terrier mix

We said goodbye to our foster sister Sasha on May 3rd.  She found a wonderful home with Anne,  who works from home and is happy to have a dog as a companion.  Sasha gets to go on daily walks, visits to the dog park and is signed up for more training.  She is even making friends with the cats!  We will miss Sasha and wish her well and hope that she and Anne will have many years of fun adventures together.  To see more border collies and border collie mixes that need homes, please visit the Pacific Northwest Border Collie website.