Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ellie at 16 (months) and Hooked

image We’ve had Ellie for 14 months now --- she was just 8 weeks old when we found out that the best gifts come wrapped in fur.

imageShe has grown into a young adult, but I still like to think of her as our puppy. She’s now just over 16 months old. She’s the best thing we’ve done for our family in the past year.

What has Ellie learned this month?

  • Mountain Biking
  • Christmas Trees are cool
  • More Mountain Biking – Night Rides

IMG00217I had heard from several people not to take her running / riding until she was at least 12 months old. We took lots of walks and chase the ball all the time. However, after she turned a year old IMG00219I wanted to take Ellie on the trails. At first I did solo rides with her for 20-30 minutes and a slower pace than I would normally ride. Then I did 45 minutes, then 60 minutes. Now Ellie goes on 2+ hour rides. These are pictures from her first ever trail ride at Soaring Eagle Park (aka The Beav) in Sammamish. She loved it. She’s Hooked!

Ellie also learned that it’s fun to lay under the Christmas Tree. Which reinforced what we already knew --- that the best gifts come wrapped in fur.

She’s Hooked!

Now when I come downstairs with my bike gear on Ellie gets very excited because she knows we’re going for a ride. This is Ellie in her first Ellie - First Week of Mtn Biking (13 Dec 2009)week of riding / running. During rides she will run up ahead and because she is so much faster than I am she will stop and look back to see if I’m still there. Sometimes she’ll dart off the trail to check something out. However, and I think this is the nature of Golden Retrievers, she will come back pretty quickly to see what I’m doing and to continue the ride.  She has now been on at least 10 rides in the last few weeks and I’m looking forward to many more with her. I’m glad she’s hooked.

One of the things Ellie seems to look forward to are the swims in the local ponds. Being the Pacific Northwest (PNW) it occasionally rains here. As a result there are a lot of ponds along the trails. One of these ponds is an actual beaver pond, which is how The Beav got it’s name. She loves jumping in a cooling down after a ride. She’s a natural swimmer and loves to show it.

Night Rides

Yes, here in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) we ride at night. If you’ve never been on a night ride I highly recommend you give it a try. You don’t need anything more than your basic biking skills – add a sense of adventure and of course a light and you are in business.

Ellie has gone on a few night rides now and she seems to like it. She stays close and doesn’t seem to be worried about what might be out there. Of course, I ride with a light. She has a flasher on her collar so we can see her, but as mentioned above she doesn’t wander off too far.

She’s Hooked and I’m Stoked!

I’m really happy that Ellie loves to go on Ride / Runs. When we picked up Ellie and found that the best gifts come wrapped in fur I didn’t expect she would become my best friend on the trails too.

If you ever find yourself up in the PNW and want to go for a ride please let me know. Bring your dog if you want because Ellie loves to run and play with other dogs too.

In case you missed the previous blog posts about Ellie take a few minutes to peruse these - Ellie at 13 (months)