Chix-a-Lot Friday: the Outdoorsman

Sir Chick wants everybody to know — he is getting really pumped for fall. Summer is cool and all, but he doesn’t like swimming nearly as much as his mama does, and it’s just so darn hot — especially when you have such a strong “sun-dar” that always leads you to the sunny spot, no matter how small it is, and no matter how hot it is outside.

Chick loves fall because he’s such an outdoorsman — you  might think he works at the Bass Pro Shop. He might work there, actually, if they allowed dogs and if he had opposable thumbs.

Fall is prime hiking and backpacking season in the Mid-Atlantic, and Chick loves him some hiking and backpacking. Sometimes when the weather is perfect, we head out past the Shenandoah Mountains — always crowded with DC tourists — and set foot into the wild hills of the George Washington National Forest.

Sometimes we go even when the weather is not perfect, but rather chilly or rainy — not too uncommon for the spring and fall in our area, but Chick never wants to miss an opportunity to do a two-night thru hike– nor does his mama, who loves little more than being outside in the great big world.

Back when we lived in Texas, we were pretty much guaranteed good weather when we went on excursions — it’s always warm and sunny in Central Texas.  Chick did some good camping and backpacking trips over New Years weekends, President’s Day weekends, and MLK weekends.

Chick’s measure of outdoorsy suitability is this: if there’s a tennis ball handy and you can roll around on your back having a mock battle with it until you fall tenderly asleep on the bare earth, it’s good enough for him.

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35 responses

  1. That looks like so much fun! I do love the fall as well. It’s usually the best time of year weather-wise in the Canadian maritimes. The autumn colours are gorgeous and the cooler breezes and lack of humidity make it much more fun to go on long walks.
    While I do love hiking and camping, I have never actually gone backpacking. I’ve always assumed it would be so much work. But you two make it look like a blast!

  2. Chick – you are so cute!! Or maybe “handsome” is a more appropriate word. Nice that you and your humans can spend time together in the great outdoors. Have a wonderful weekend!!

  3. I love the upside-down Chick photo, too! But for some reason, a few of the photos are appearing on my screen as big black boxes. If I click on a black box, I can see the actual photo (which I’m so glad I did because I wouldn’t have been able to see how cute Chick looks), but on the post, they aren’t showing up. Anyone else having that problem?

  4. Chick, you are in luck! The Bass Pro Shop in Sevierville, TN allows dogs! I see them in there ‘walking their people” all the time. LOL Luv your camping pictures. Especially the upside down pose & the life jacket shot. You are one handsome fellow! Have fun on your trip!

  5. I fall in love with Chick more each week. Mya has mastered the upside down tennis ball pose herself! And now I understand why the dog bath nights can happen due to stinky cow poo with all this outdoorsy stuff! LOL!

  6. I know you are sick of hearing it but Chick is the most HANDSOME dog in the world I believe and that is BIG praise coming from a person with a very striking pit bull boy (Rodney) of her own. There is something about that face that BEGS to be smooched.

  7. Adorable! I actually like the photo of Chick doing the solo hike best. He’s so photogenic, it’s ridiculous. We might actually try camping with the dogs soon — I can only imagine how the sleeping would go!

    • The best thing about backpacking with dogs is that they get so tired on the hike that they sleep like little angels. Making them carry their own stuff is nice for this too– Chick carries his own food, toys, poop bags, water, and bowls, as well as treats.

  8. The GW National Forest is our fave–full of swimming holes, free camping, and trails that go all over. The best is to get a NF topo map and find the trails that are really “off the beaten”–hoping my old man can get away from his studies enough to permit that at least once this fall!

  9. Love the photos! Looks like some very nice areas to hike out your way. Chick, as always is adorable. What backpack do you use for him? I really want to get one for Sophie so she can carry her water and I can carry my camera :)

  10. The consummate outdoorsman, Sir Chick!
    Do you ever get concerned about ticks while in the forest? I tried to take Reggie to Shenandoah once but the park ranger suggested that time of the year wasn’t good for dogs. With Reggie having so much fur a tick can be hard to see.

    • We do have Chick on the monthly meds that kill ticks, and there is now a vaccine you can get against Lyme Disease. But with Chick’s very short and very white fur, it’s easy to just check him over after a day of hiking and pluck any ticks right off.

  11. What a blast! I’ve really wanted to try an overnight hike with the pups, but #1- I haven’t found any human willing to go with me and #2- I’m too much of a wimp to go solo the first time.

    That being said, I love hiking in the fall! The pups can go farther, and in New England there is almost too much beautiful foliage to look at (I trip a lot more cause I’m looking up instead of down!).

  12. I love his mock battle with the tennis ball, what an adorable picture. Molly is also an outdoorsy girl, maybe one day if we ever trek to Texas we could do a joint trip, I am pretty sure Molly and Chick would be the most smashing couple.

  13. So glad we met because I love your blog. I admit to being (just a wee bit!) breedist when it comes to big dogs who might eat me at work, but your blog reminds me how great these guys can be and your photos are gorgeous. I’m trying to take a nice pic of our big, handsome next-door neighbor pittie to send to you, but I’m quite sure my iPhone can’t live up to these standards!

    • I imagine it must be trying, to be the vet seeing all these dogs with all kinds of personalities and different ideas about humans. Pit bulls like any dog can be great, and like any dog can be sort of awful, under the right (wrong) circumstances. But I do think that each dog should be treated as an individual and evaluated as such, rather than assumed to be a certain way because of its physical appearance. And the ones who come in snarling and growling — I really do think that their condition is mostly due to the circumstances under which they were raised and are kept, not so much due to their breed type. There is a chicken or egg issue to be considered when you’re dealing with the historically villainized breeds — pit bulls, rotties, dobermans, etc — that hardly anybody talks about. Is it about the type of dog, or is it about the type of person who is drawn to the type of the dog, that is the problem? Or maybe a little of both?

      • I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to the types of people who come in to see me. I’ve learned not to assume what different types of people will be willing to do/pay for their pets. But any dog who gives me the hairy eyeball when I walk into the room, be it pit, rottie, shepherd, chihuahua, or lab, will be treated with great caution. The bigger dogs just have more potential to really injure me, so I’m that much more careful with them. It’s a safety issue, and my hands/fingers/face are not worth the risk. I muzzle lots of dogs and everything goes much smoother. Remember, too, that I am doing things to them that they do NOT appreciate! That being said, I have a pretty good rapport with most dogs. I read body language well, and many of the scaredy-dogs come around after a little chit-chat. (Except the chihuahuas. I’m REALLY breedist about them!)

  14. I’ve always wanted to go hiking and camping, but I have to face up to the fact that I’m a middle-aged out-of-shape mom who can take a stroll through a forest, but not much more. And I’m too clumsy to set up a tent!

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