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Helen was having a spa day today so while she was getting bathed, groomed and her nails done, Holly & I went to the Piedmont Ski Trail and hiked on rocks, roots and mud.   The contrast was most notable when the two were together in the backseat of the car again – one fluffy and soft with a fresh bandana on; the other muddy & wet with a new stink.  They had plenty to share when they were reunited!

Years ago, Baillee (my first golden) and I would hike the Piedmont Ski Trail often.  We knew the lay-out well and knew exactly the amount of time we needed to do the full hike before dark.  It was a spontaneous trip to the trail today – the groomer was close by and Helen needed a couple hours to get spiffed up.   At first I thought I’d go look at the trail but once in the parking lot Holly was sold on the idea to go exploring.  In the car’s supply box I had a red shirt for Holly.  I put it on her as a precautionary measure despite being within city limits during hunting season.  It didn’t take far into the trail for me to learn things were different from years ago!  In addition to the Piedmont Ski Trail there was also the Superior Hiking Trail, the Traverse Trail, a mountain bike trail as well as off-shoots that connect all of the above.   Fortunately there were trail maps, though the ‘You Are Here’ arrow (my favorite part of the map) was not included.  Not to worry, I had Holly and as much as she loved to hike the trail into the woods, she had an extra pep in her step when we made our loop back following our own scent.   Her confidence gave me security.  However, there was one section on the trail that had us both stopped in our tracks – after coming across a large huge black figure in a tree swinging back and forth.  The swinging back and forth had Holly spooked, me too, for a bit but this swinging gave me reassurance.  No black bear would swing that fluently!  The lingering Halloween trick gave our hearts a super-surge after having a good work-out and a great adventure on the trail.  Bonus heartbeats added to the bonus time we had together.

Holly is a ball dog.  Frisbees are fun, but only as a substitute for a ball.  She has her outside balls and then her inside balls.  Inside, it is all about Red Ball.  It is not by accident most of her pictures have Red Ball in her mouth, it would be more of an accident to get a photo without it!  Neither Helen, Gracie nor I love Red Ball the way Holly does, though she doesn’t believe us.   Any of us at any time can have Red Ball plopped in our lap or on our head.  We can get it pushed into our hand, leg, nose and/or tail.  It can get tossed next to us while in a chair, couch or bed.  I’m not certain if it’s Red Ball that Holly loves, or the irritation she knows Red Ball causes.   And that is Holly – if there’s no fun happening, go make your own.