We have started hiking portions of the Buckeye Trail (in Ohio) near us. The Buckeye Trail (BT) runs through West Branch State Park and volunteers have begun trail improvements. Some sections are new, and others were in need of maintenance. That blue blaze on the tree (see above) is an indicator that you are on the Buckeye Trail. Follow the blazes. We saw folks out doing trail upgrades during the winter and I wish that we had gotten their contact information. I wouldn’t mind putting in a few hours to help the cause. I’m sure if I keep looking, I can find the local group.
We hike a different place every day and once in a while, we try out a new section of the BT. We generally limit ourselves to 2 to 3 mile sections. On Tuesday, we hiked a 4 mile section which was what it took to get back to the car. Once we learn the distances from section to section, we can take two cars and leave them in different parking lots, so we don’t have to hike out and back.
Above is the route one of our hikes took last week. We went out the A-section of the Mountain Bike Trail and then onto a portion of the BT that we recently discovered. It is always fun when we discover a trail that is new to us. Especially at West Branch. Before the area was a Reservoir and State Park, people lived there. It is thought provoking to come upon the foundations of old homesteads. In the spring, you can often tell where a house was from the border of daffodils or other domestic flowers that still bloom there.
You can see from the mapped hike above that Shelby was with us that day. She also hiked with us on Saturday and Sunday. Those will be her last hikes, at least for a while. On Monday morning, she was limping terribly, and more than one leg seemed to be involved. She does have arthritis, but this seemed to be something more. I called our vet right away and they were able to get us in that morning due to a cancellation. Four hundred dollars later, we know that Shelby has arthritis in her left front carpus (ankle) causing fluid retention, two significant areas of arthritis in her spine, and a completely collapsed spinal disc. The collapsed disc was a surprise to us all. This is a condition that can be managed. Shelby received a steroid injection and will be on oral steroids and Tramadol, a painkiller, for three weeks. She will have a follow-up appointment in a month and then be on Rimadyl, a different painkiller, for the rest of her life.
Shelby is feeling a little better already. Her limp is only minor now and she’s not nearly as grumpy. Our vet will sign off on Shelby’s annual paperwork that allows her to perform therapy dog visits during her follow-up appointment. Unfortunately, the vet has also suggested that it may be time to think about retiring Shelby from hiking. Definitely no hiking for the next two months. After that I may be able to try her on our walks that are on level surfaces. We’ll have to see how she does.
On another note, I have never made this a subscription blog because I like the idea of anyone who wants to, being able to read it. And I don’t intend to make it by subscription at this point in time either. But there are costs involved in maintaining the blog. There is the cost of the WordPress Subscription, the price of the domain name, and I have the cost of Microsoft 365 that I maintain other documents on. Each of these is an annual cost. There is also the cost of my time. What I have decided to do at this point is to ask that any of you who wish to contribute, do so by sending me a gift of a Chewy gift card (https://www.chewy.com/chewy-egift-card/dp/226306?nav-submit-button=&ref-query=chewy%20gift%20cards&ref=searchRedirect) or an Amazon gift card (https://www.amazon.com/gift-cards/b?node=2238192011). The gift cards can be sent to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
By taking this approach, I can put any gifts towards supplies for the upkeep of our furry family members. The dogs and cats do always get more deliveries than I do! And you can know that the gifts are supporting our animals, and not my grand lifestyle. Seriously, we live in an old farmhouse that was built in 1830 and our day to day lives revolve around dogs. If you are unable, or choose not to contribute, please keep reading anyway. You are valued.