Best Hiking Companions
Now that your yard is overrun with creatures from the wild, your dog could probably use a day trip. Take him backpacking, and he could earn a Champion title from the Canine Backpackers Association. All he has to do is complete three ten-mile hikes while carrying a pack, water bowl and water weighing 25 percent of his body weight. If he carries less weight, he can still become a Trail Dog. CBA is open to all dogs, mixed-breed or otherwise, and humans can join for a mere $20 per year. The organization is the brainchild of Conifer writer Maggie Bonham, and the Web site, www.caninebackpackers.com, features some very useful rules for hiking with dogs, champion or otherwise. First among them: Don't let him chase wildlife -- he can do that at home.
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