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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Off Leash Wilderness Area

We just visited Sunol Regional Wilderness Area, part of the Bay Area watershed. Our goal was a rocky gorge where the Alameda Creek cascades through a tumble of boulders. This spot is so lovely it has earned the name "Little Yosemite."

It was a very beautiful area.

The best part is... dogs are not only allowed, but they are allowed off-leash on trails once you leave the parking lot/camp ground area. I tagged along with Mom and Dad and their friends Maribelle and Ernest. Since Matt can't hike yet on his knee, I was restricted to one dog. Which one should I take? Cyrus is best on a leash but hates the car and has feathering that catches everything. Mya is smallest and therefore easiest to control and doesn't take up much space in the car, but I wasn't sure she was up to the hike. Plus, she's not really friendly and two yappy dachshund mixes were already on the guest list (ha to Dad, if he's reading this). Sasha is the least pleasant on leash - she pulls as badly as Mya does but is nearly 4x the weight - but is very friendly and is most in need of something to wear her out.

Sasha went.

Here she is, delighted with the prospect of a trip. Also, not afraid of the camera. Apparently they are only scary when one is at home. I figured the leash time would be good for her. Then we found that the dogs could be off leash.

After much internal debate (and a lot of being hauled up and down the trail by a husky mix) I decided that she was up to the challenge. She has never been a dog to take off and leave her pack and is fairly good about checking in, even if her classic recall is not picture perfect. (In fact, her pack instinct is so strong that she got very upset when anyone would leave the group, even crying when Mom walked back up the trail to one of the restrooms.)

Sasha was exceedingly glad to go leashless. She and Max zoomed up and down the trail, impatient with us slowpokes, but very good about checking in. And they didn't even chase any cattle (the trail went right through grazing pasture! It was very odd...).

Waterdog Sasha enjoys splashing at Little Yosemite. Max, Lab that he is, jumped right in and swam around. Then found a stick and begged us to throw for him.

Pisco was not a big fan of wilderness areas. He prefers laps. Molly does not like it when Dad climbs on rocks and she cannot follow. They both enjoy some comforting, which moms excel at.

Dad photographs the gorge.

Little Yosemite from the "front" side.

Molly loves it when she can follow Dad, no matter where he goes.

Sasha loves it when she can go anywhere. At high speeds, for preference. Note her instant response to being called... It's a work in progress. At the very least, an excellent day was had by all.