Hiking with the Hounds

Eileen SmithOn Saturday, I had the pleasure of photographing the Howloween Hound Hike for Geauga Park District. Eileen Smith, Administrative Services Coordinator with the Park District, hosts this event every year. There were more than 15 dogs in attendance with their human families.

It was a chilly and windy morning, so we weren’t sure if that would deter people from coming. But one by one, the cars drove into the parking lot at Sunnybrook Preserve on Heath Road in Chesterland. The dogs excitedly jumped out of their cars ready to hit the trail, but to their surprise, they would have a lot of hiking buddies today. Tails were wagging. Owners were being pulled across the parking lot as the dogs mingled and introduced themselves in typical dog fashion. There were so many new people to lick and dogs to smell.

Dogs getting to know each other

I said hello to all the dogs as they arrived, getting down to their level so they would not jump. I eventually had to go back to my car to get a cloth to clean all the doggie kisses off my glasses.

Eileen got everyone into a circle so proper introductions could be made. Pine Ridge Trail is a paved loop around the parking lot and shelter.  The group started there, giving the photographers a chance to get pictures of all of the dogs and their owners. They gathered for a group photo once the loop was completed. Then, into the woods they went on the Woodland Trail and Jumping Mouse Trail. The hike was about 1.5 miles through the woods, up and down a bit of hilly terrain. There was still a blanket of wet snow on the ground covered with lots of leaves that had fallen after the snow.

group photo of the hound hike

Hitting the trail

All of the dogs were given a “treat” at the end of the hike before they went home. As we were about to leave, I noticed a yellow lab wandering around the shelter. It looked like one of the dogs that was on the hike that was representing Guiding Eyes for the Blind, but this dog was off leash. I looked closer and realized this dog was not on our hike and it was wearing an invisible fence collar. Eileen’s husband grabbed a spare leash from his car and we called the dog over.  Eileen called for a park ranger to come get the dog. Moments later, the dog’s owner pulled into the parking lot to find her dog. This little lab must have heard about this super fun hike that we were doing and wanted to come join the fun, but she forgot to wear a costume. The owner was very grateful and promised to replace the batteries in her dog’s collar so she would not wander away again.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the dogs in their costumes:

  Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

Howloween Hound Hike

 

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News