Following through on my Loveland Pass post last April, I took Annie up to Loveland Pass backcountry on New Years Day.
I woke up New Year’s Day to find an email from Brig White asking if I wanted to start off the year right. We drove up to Loveland Pass with Annie and although there wasn’t a lot of new snow, it’s always nice to be out on the mountain. The best part was letting Annie loose in her element. As we hiked, she ran along, ran ahead, ran around, and always came when called. When we raced down the mountain, she raced behind us, taking turns chasing after me and Brig. When we hit the trees, she bolted through and even if I lost sight of her for a moment, I could call her name and she’d come jetting out of the forest, making first paw tracks in the snow, mouth wide open in a big lab smile.
We hitched 4 rides back up to the top of the pass. The first three were in the back of pickup trucks. I doubt this Miami born dog ever thought she be huddled with me in the exposed bed of a speeding pickup, with howling winter winds and snow ‘building character’ on our faces as we climbed to 12,000 ft pass in the Rockies. But she was. The fourth and last ride up was in a brand new Toyota Sequoia SUV. The driver pulled over to our thrown out thumbs and I had to walk around to his window and ask “I have a dog, is that okay?”
“Yeah, put her in the back with your stuff.”
She laid down in the heated car and pressed as much of her body, from chin to tail, into the relatively plush, carpeted floor. This was not the pickup experience she just had three times in a row. Without moving her head, she turned her eyes up at me and I could see her saying, Was this an option all along? She may not have been a huge fan of the more hardcore rides up the mountain, but she was nothing less then euphoric once her feet hit the ground and she could chase us back down, not a road in sight.
“Did your dog just follow you down the mountain?...That’s so cool.”
“That’s a great dog”
Talk about good times with man’s best friend. Part of me is so excited that she's only 2-years old and there are years of this to come. The other part of me tries to ignore how relatively short a dog's life is. We're squeezing it all in, enjoying the simple pleasures all the way.
She spent most of the next day recuperating at home, chin to tail, flat against the carpet, occasionally licking her slightly chapped paws. But I know she’ll gladly hop into the back of the next truck bed if it means she gets to run back down a snowy mountain with me.