Last Saturday, Snoopy and I met up with my friend, Julie, and her 2-year old daughter, Mia, to hike the 3-mile, 500-ft. elevation gain trail to the top of Mount Rubidoux in Riverside. In all honesty, this was an easy hike. Heck, it was even paved. Truly, it was a walk in the park. For everyone except Snoopy, though.
My poor, Mexican-born puppy has apparently become too soft living indoors in plush Orange County. He couldn’t hack the heat. Soon after we started our upward climb, he started to limp and lick his paws. I thought that he had stepped on something, but Julie pointed out that the blacktop was probably burning his paws. Ahhh – I felt so bad! I tried to force him to walk in the dirt and gravel next to the paved trail, but by the end of the hike, he just wanted to run on the pavement to try and keep his paws off of it as much as possible.
It took us a super duper long time to get to the top of the mountain because every time we found shade on the trail (there wasn’t much of it), Snoopy would lay down and rest in it (all while panting like crazy – his outstretched tongue hung in the dirt while he rested his tired head). My heart was breaking for him – he clearly wasn’t enjoying this. When we got to the top of the mountain, I led him to a cool, shaded rock and he laid down in it for a long time while Julie and Mia searched out a suitable picnic spot for us.
They found a great sandy spot in the shade for us to eat and Snoopy dug a hole in the sand and cooled off in it.
Eventually, he stopped panting and I thought that he was feeling better – or at least well enough to walk back down the mountain.
Our walk down the mountain was worse than our walk up it. Eventually, I told Julie and Mia to keep going while I rested with Snoopy. After a short while, Snoopy refused to get up and continue the hike. I didn’t want to force him to move because at this point, I was seriously worried that I was going to kill him with heat exhaustion. I had already given him all of the water I had brought on the hike (I didn’t drink any of it myself). He just needed more rest in the shade. Since he is 55 pounds, there was no way I could carry him down the mountain; I knew I’d just have to wait with him until he felt well enough to continue on. Julie, who is an awesome mom and knows what to do in these sort of situations, suggested that she bring her kids’ wagon, which was in the back of her car, up to me and we could roll Snoopy down the rest of the mountain in it. And so that’s what we did. And Snoopy lived to see another day.
Doggie mama lessons learned: Always bring more water with you than you anticipate using. Do not take your doggie on hikes where there is very little shade and it’s super hot. Do not take your doggie on hikes over blacktop when it’s super hot. Do not be a bad doggie mama.