JD Allinder

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Jane Wednesday

In Posts on March 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Monday and Tuesday were especially busy this week, and Jane’s and my exercise routine suffered. We got out for a late, on-leash, two-hour walk around town Monday night, but Tuesday was a complete bust with me gone most of the day and our single outing a short zip through the neighborhood in the rain. Jane was a good sport – she’s fine with the occasional lazy day (it’s me who hates them most) – but I nonetheless promised her today was her day. It turned out to be a gorgeous one, too. Winter seems to have finally conceded its ongoing battle with spring, and the temps soared into the 50s today. The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and all was well in the universe.

Jane, Annika, Duke, and I started our hike at Marshall Nature Area in the North Ann Arbor/Dixboro area. Despite the warmth, much of the trails were still covered in ice, though melted just enough to add traction. This was perfect for walking and added protection from the mud for boots and pads. Duke was in his typical state of transplendent euphoria; Jane tiptoed a bit, picked up a scent or two and wandered off, and acted intermittently engaged and bored. She loves the outdoors, but what she really wants is to move and track and tree. While she’s able to do this somewhat when we’re part of a larger pack, we also have to consider the needs of the other members, and this isn’t something that comes naturally for Jane.

If she had her way, Jane would have two or three hours a day to wander on her own. Next best thing, I think, is to wander with me. She loves being with Duke, but their on-the-trail objectives are not always the same. (I think I spend way too much time analyzing my dog and fretting over her not having her needs met, but I think it’s because I’m not convinced human/dog cohabitation is necessarily natural, and I’m continually trying to balance Jane’s primal needs with her safety and the reality of being a rescue dog living in the city.)

The best part of today’s outing was locating and crossing through the drain pipe that connects Marshall with the large, unnamed, UM-owned tract of land bordered by Earhart, Dixboro, and Plymouth Roads. (The pipe runs under Plymouth Road.) I’d heard of this drain pipe from an acquaintance named Trey who rides his dirt bike on the unnamed property (we really need a name for this place), but today was the first time I’d sought it out. Annika and I were unsure at first – Jane was, too – but we took the plunge and were actually kind of energized by it. It felt just crazy enough to be a real adventure. Duke didn’t question it at all; it was all in a day’s work for him.

This tunnel was a really great find because it creates multiple hiking possibilities by connecting Marshall’s 80 acres with the several hundred on the UM property.

Jane’s had an on-and-off limp the past couple of weeks. I’ve had her on heavy doses of Joint Rescue from KV Vet (best online supplier of animal supplies ever), and she appears to be on the mend. She may have just had a sports injury (that’s my hope) and recovered through rest and time. I think I’ll ween her off the Joint Rescue this week and see how she performs. Fingers crossed.