The weather this weekend has been nicer than I can remember it being at any time in the last...3 months or so. No exaggeration. We've had such a long, hot, muggy summer, and it finally broke. 75 degrees... YEAH!!!
Since I've been ill for over a week, I haven't had the energy to do much, so my poor pups haven't been walked in days. So I decided to take them over to Shawnee Mission Park to walk the wooded trails. The trailhead is near one corner of the lake, so I had a nice view of the fishermen, canoes, kayaks, and sailboats taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and the holiday weekend.
Here's the thing: Shibas have a ton of energy to begin with. And they get very excited on wooded trails. And they get very, very excited to get out when they haven't had any exercise in a week. So essentially they dragged me for the first mile--a very brisk walk. And they kept pulling, so I picked up the pace to a jog, then a full-on run, following their lead. I felt like a sled being pulled by two wild dogs in a suburban Iditarod. They were totally in their element. It was exhilarating running down the narrow, sun-dappled paths, breeze blowing and the dogs head-over-heels with delight. My cough is nearly gone, and finally the sensation of taking nice, deep breaths has returned to me. Aah, fresh air.
The problem was that these are hilly, winding, narrow, rocky, tree rooty, mountain-biking trails, so you really had to watch where you planted your feet. (You also had to watch for kamikaze guys on mountain bikes flying toward you down the trail.) We made it 2+ miles and were almost back to the start, at a full gallop, when I tripped over one of the leashes, nearly caught myself, then hit the ground--hard.
I shook it off, but my arm didn't fare too well. As I landed it skidded across a rough tree branch whose bark was the equivalent of a cheese grater on my flesh. Tree: 1, Jen: 0. Ah, well. A small price to pay for a gorgeous afternoon in the woods!