As you might expect, Piper’s arrival has had a big impact on our daily routine. Matt and I are waking up earlier on work days, stopping home 2-3 times to let her out during the day, and (still!) taking turns setting an alarm for a middle-of-the-night potty break. We are also making sure to do at least one mentally and/or physically stimulating activity with Piper every day to tire her out. On weekdays it’s practically dark when we get home from work which limits us to activities around the house like wobble-disc practice in the kitchen or epic games of fetch in the back yard. (Fetch is, of course, frequently interrupted when Piper gets distracted and tries to eat deer poop, but I digress!) Weekends, however, are a whole different story… daylight means that we can go hiking!
Since Piper is still very young, meandering hikes in the woods are a great way to tire her out without causing too much stress on her joints. To keep things interesting, we’ve been visiting a different local park or trail each weekend. This has been a fun way to re-explore some of our old favorite hiking spots that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while. One such local gem is Newlin Grist Mill.
Newlin Grist Mill is a 160 acre park and historical site in Glen Mills, PA. You can read more about the park’s history, working grist mill and educational programs on their web site. I’m sure that all of that historical stuff is cool (convincing plug, right?) but WE visit the park for its miles of secluded nature trails that wind along an abandoned rail line and a beautiful stream. Here are some photos from our hike a few weekends ago…
Brilliant fall foliage at Newlin Grist Mill
Piper taking a break
Grist mill history on display
Stream crossing below the waterfall
Newlin Grist Mill’s trails are well maintained and clearly marked, but I have not been able to find an actual detailed trail map of the park. There’s a basic map at the parking lot showing park boundaries and general right-of-ways, but it’s missing most of the side trails that we actually hiked on. Luckily, the park is relatively small and most of the major trails tend to be oriented east-west along the old rail line and stream. This makes it hard to get lost and fun to explore… perfect for hiking with a 10-week-old puppy!
If you’re in the western Philadelphia suburbs and are looking for a low-key, relaxed hike with lots of stream views and history, I’d definitely recommend spending an afternoon at Newlin Grist Mill!
Newlin Grist Mill
219 South Cheyney Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342 (map)
On Halloween Matt and I took Piper hiking on the Darlington Trail. The Darlington Trail is a public hiking trail in Middletown Township, Delaware County, PA that winds along Chester Creek and an abandoned section of railroad that once connected Media to West Chester. Naturally, I brought my camera along to document this adventure and wanted to share a few of my favorite shots here.
Warning… lots of cute puppy photos ahead!!! 😊
Piper loved climbing around on the train tracks and even walked on one track balance beam-style for a few steps.
In order to get a good photo angle of little Piper I ended up lying down on the tracks, which put me at the perfect level for a surprise puppy attack!
Piper was a total ham on the hike and kept pausing to look at the camera.
Even when Piper got a break from walking she still made a point of looking at the camera!
At the end of the hike little Piper happily snoozed in my arms on the drive home. She is such a sweetie.
That’s it for this hike, but don’t worry, I have photos from a more recent hiking adventure that I will share soon! 🙂
We got a puppy! Matt and I are thrilled to welcome Piper into our lives and home. Isn’t she adorable?
Piper is a two month old German Shorthaired Pointer. Yesterday Matt and I drove from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to pick Piper up from her breeder, Alliwood Shorthairs, and we just made it home from our 1750 mile round trip this afternoon. We drove there in about 14 hours, stopped for a few hours in a Chicago-area hotel with Piper (not easy with a little pup!), before getting back on the road at about 2:15am this morning. Needless to say, we are exhausted and should probably be sleeping right now… but I want to share a few more photos of our goofy, happy, snuggly new family member first!!
We are looking forward to enjoying many adventures with Piper! (The first of which starts tonight… housebreaking!) 🙂
Matt and I lost our best friend last night. Our beautiful, energetic, vibrant, happy pup Bailey passed away very suddenly and we are heartbroken.
We first met Bailey when she was just a tiny 4 week old puppy. When we brought Bailey home at 7 weeks we quickly learned that in addition to being cute as a button she seemed possessed with never-ending energy. She kept us very busy that first year… I don’t think she ever let us sleep in past 8AM!
As Bailey matured we found ourselves adapting our lifestyle around her boundless energy and intelligence. We hiked with Bailey on a regular basis, did agility and nosework training with her, and bought a house with a big yard for her to enjoy.
In 2009 Bailey started competing in DockDogs. This opened up a whole new world for us – exciting new places, people, and experiences – and also gave us the chance to develop an even closer bond with our dog. We traveled thousands of miles and spent countless weekends with Bailey by our sides and I know that she loved every minute of it.
We told Bailey that we loved her every day and we meant it. The night before she died I remember going into the bedroom to get ready for bed and finding Matt kneeling down on the floor, snuggling Bailey’s soft ears with his face and whispering good night to her. We had no idea that that would be her last night with us but it comforts me to know that she clearly knew she was deeply loved by us.
We don’t know exactly what happened to Bailey last night. She was out in the yard before dinner as is her usual routine. She generally comes to the door when she is done hunting/playing/patrolling the yard but she hadn’t shown up yet so I started calling her. She didn’t come when called (which is also quite usual if she’s still absorbed in her squirrel-stalking!) but after calling for her a few times I got worried and turned on the back lights. Then I saw her, collapsed in the middle of the yard, a dark figure in the snow with the lights reflecting off of her jacket. I ran out in the yard and carried her limp form inside. We rushed her to the vet but she was gone.
Bailey lived an action-packed life and threw herself wholeheartedly in everything she did with 110% enthusiasm. She was only six years old and she brought joy to Matt and me for every single minute of her time with us. We loved her unconditionally and we miss her terribly.
In loving memory of Bailey
May 11, 2007 – January 30, 2014
Bailey on her first car ride
Such a goofball
Leaping over the jump!
Bailey let me kiss her mid-hike
Bailey was such a funny puppy
Matt and Bailey hiking
DockDogs at Lilypons
I was so happy to be holding baby Bailey!
Bailey with her world qualifier ribbon
Running with her frisbee
Wild ears at the dog park
Staring me down in the hallway
Making good eye contact
All tuckered out
Such a happy pup!
Streching out of her house
Chewing that tennis ball SO HARD!
Bailey and Matt watching the rain
Now that’s one happy dog
Flying through the back yard
Bailey wan kenobi
Bailey at Harford County Fair
Bailey and her buddy, Hershey
Wild eared pup
“MY mulch pile!”
Last Friday was my birthday, woohoo! Because we were entered to run in the Trinity 5K at 9AM Saturday morning we kept Friday’s celebrating pretty low key. We got breakfast at Manhattan Bagel (my favorite) and worked a full day while hydrating like crazy for the race. After work we took a nice walk with Bailey at Ridley Creek State Park before eating a pasta dinner and getting a good night’s sleep. Here’s a photo of my Ridley Creek walking buddies… the perfect birthday companions! 🙂
The weather was gorgeous during our walk. Since we weren’t planning on doing any running in the park I brought my camera along to capture the beautiful autumn colors and my favorite photo subject, Bailey. Here are a few of the photos I took:
Bailey my little GSP
Rain drops on a leaf
Bailey looking regal in her new harness
Bailey looks so happy with herself!
Orange Fall Leaves
Bailey hasn’t been to Ridley Creek State Park since I hurt my foot in late September. She was so happy to be out and about again! She was sporting her new ‘walkeez’ fleece harness and she paused for lots of photo ops. She’s such a good dog!
Hiking in the park with Matt and Bailey was the perfect way to spend my birthday. What’s your idea of the perfect birthday afternoon?
It’s been a while since I posted about Bailey so I thought a nice picture-filled update would be fun! Here are some photos that I took earlier this week. I love this dog!
The above photo is classic Bailey. She looks very serious because I’m holding her frisbee in my hand and trying to get her to make a nice expression for the camera. She’s like “come on, just throw it already!” This is what happened when I finally threw the frisbee…
The weather is too cold for dock diving now but Bailey is keeping herself busy patrolling the yard for squirrels, lounging in the afternoon sun, and burrowing as deep as possible into her doggie sleeping bag when it’s time for bed. Bailey has also been taking K9 Nosework classes for several months. Last night she finally graduated from searching for treats to hunting for “birch” odor, woohoo! I’m biased, of course, but I think she has a very good nose, don’t you? 🙂
As I write this Bailey is curled up between Matt and me on the couch. She is not normally allowed on the furniture but when it gets cold out we let her snuggle with us. If we snuggle too much she gets hot and hops off the couch to cool off though…. which just happened. Now she’s headed up to bed. Good night, Bailey!
This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is inside. Here’s what Bailey does when she’s inside!
We joke that Bailey is either “on” (full blast running, hunting and playing outside) or “off” (sleeping peacefully inside). In this photo Bailey is demonstrating her favorite sleeping position: snuggled into her covered “dog den” bed with a comforter tucked over her face for good measure… she’s such a prima donna!
Also, I have to point out that she puts herself into bed this way with no help from us! It’s really a cute sight to wake up to in the morning… 🙂
Dogs, shotguns and the great outdoors… sounds like a good time, right? Well that’s how we spent our Labor Day Weekend at a “hunting camp” in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania! The “camp” is actually a private fishing and hunting club that my step-father’s grandfather helped to found back in 1913. One hundred years later it is still a rural paradise complete with a large house that sleeps 20+, a beautiful lake and – the best part – hundreds of acres of quiet, uninhabited woods. The camp is surrounded by other similar hunting clubs and a huge state forest, making it one of the only places in the world where we feel comfortable letting Bailey run off leash. Bailey absolutely loves it there, as demonstrated in this photo of her wallowing in a mud puddle after a long run in the woods!
Happy as a pig in mud!
Bailey’s not completely off the grid when she’s at the hunting camp, however. We learned a few years ago that it’s nice to know roughly where in the wilderness she has wandered to, so we now strap a GPS collar around her little neck to keep track of where she is and how many miles she’s gone. On our first day there we arrived at lunchtime and Bailey ran 10 miles before dinner. The second day she covered 17 miles and on day three she was a little tired so she only did 14 miles… She’s nuts!
Bailey showing off her GPS collar and its really long antenna. We had to tie her up occasionally for mandatory resting time… otherwise she never would have stopped running!
Bailey had lots of canine friends to play with at the hunting camp this year. My family brought along a whole pack of pooches including Hershey the chocolate lab, Ganon the 9 month old puppy, and Clyde, the adorable newfie-lab mix. All of the dogs had a blast running through the woods, swimming in the lake and cooling off in mud puddles mid-hike.
Ganon and Hershey on a hike
Bailey rarely stopped moving
Happy Hershey in the lake
Ganon cools off in the mud
When we weren’t hiking with the dogs we enjoyed playing in and around the camp’s beautiful lake, riding ATVs through the woods and shooting clay pigeons with shotguns. We also made sure to spend plenty of time relaxing in the rocking chairs on the hunting camp’s big wraparound porch!
Wildflowers at the Hunting Camp
The Hunting Camp
My brother on an ATV
Matt trap shooting (2008 photo)
Hunting Camp Lake
After a fun-filled Labor Day weekend at the hunting camp we headed home with a VERY tired Bailey. I can’t wait to go back next summer!
Bailey catching some Zzzs after a weekend at the hunting camp.
First of all, I just learned that this photo of Bailey has been chosen as a Grand Prize Finalist in a photo contest! The winner is determined by popular vote which means that YOU can help Bailey win simply by clicking here and then hitting the “VOTE” button.
I would REALLY appreciate it if you could take a few seconds to vote! Voting is open until August 16th and you can vote once per day. The contest is sponsored by Yakima Racks and the winner receives gifts from Ruffwear (Bailey’s favorite dog gear outfitter), Zukes (Bailey’s favorite treats!) and a $500 Yakima gift card!
In other news, this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is One Shot, Two Ways. The idea behind this challenge is to show the same subject from two angles and I have a fun example to share. The following two photos show Bailey flying through the air about to catch her duck. They were taken from two different cameras at the exact same moment during the same jump. Cool, right?
The first photo was taken head-on by a professional photographer (Key4Prints). I happened to catch the second photo from the bleachers at the exact same time… just as Bailey was contorting her body and snapping her mouth open mid-air in an attempt to catch her duck. While the professional shot is clearly a better photo, I kind of like the second shot because it helps you appreciate what a huge jump this was. Bailey ended up winning her division at this event with a 24+ foot jump!
Thanks for stopping by and, again, thank you to everyone that voted for Bailey in the photo contest!!!! (You can vote here: http://bit.ly/146NFcQ )
Just before Christmas 2012 Matt’s parents rescued a beautiful German Shorthaired Pointer and named her Bella. Prior to her rescue Bella was discovered by a forest ranger wandering around in a New Jersey state forest (in cold winter weather!!) and she was underfed and seriously in need of a loving family. Lucky for Bella, Matt’s parents welcomed her into their home and she is now enjoying a comfortable, happy life with her new family!
Bailey and Bella are really similar in size and coloring. We sometimes joke that Bella could be Bailey’s sister… after all, Bailey was the runt of a 10-puppy litter born just 30 minutes from the state forest where Bella was found! Biological siblings or not, Bella and Bailey are great friends and we take care of Bella when Matt’s parents are out of town. We have Bella this weekend and I had fun doing a mini photoshoot with the GSP girls.
As you can see, Bailey and Bella are in a constant competition to steal each other’s toys. Today they were vying for the same orange squeaky toy. Aren’t they cute?
Bella sticks her tongue out at Bailey
“Why does Bella get the toy”
Bailey sneaks up on Bella
We don’t know what Bella’s background is, but she definitely has good hunting instincts. Today she discovered a monarch butterfly in my flower garden and spent quite a while stalking and pointing at it. Bailey used to point at butterflies but seems to have lost interest in them… now she focuses on squirrels, groundhogs and birds!
Bella points at a monarch butterfly
The object of Bella’s affections
As I write this post we’re watching TV in our home office with the two dogs. Bailey is snuggled comfortably on Bella’s bed (because Bailey is a HUGE bed hog!) and Bella has generously decided that that’s OK and she is alternating between lying on the floor at Matt’s feet and curling up in an awkwardly tiny ball on Bailey’s very small bed. What a good pup! Soon we’ll put both dogs to bed so they can rest up for another fun day in the back yard tomorrow!
Does your dog have a best friend? Tell me about them! 🙂
Related Post: Our Four-Legged House Guest (Hershey the Chocolate Lab)