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Welcome to Four Directions Hiking with Donna McCall

My mission is to introduce available dog companions to you, through hiking experiences with the canines from Stray Rescue in St. Louis. All of these dogs are great as outdoor partners for anyone who loves to hike, backpack, trail run, whatever! The dogs travel with me to trails in all four directions. They come in colors of black, red, white and yellow, which happen to be the colors representing the four cardinal directions of N,S,E, and W, in American Indian culture. Thus the name Four Directions!

MAY HIKE 2014-with Gordy, Jaelyn, Boogie Pilgrim, Whirlwind, Denise, Artie, Thumbelina, Lady Tulip and Hideaway!

I can shout from the rooftops that my buddy is ADOPTED!!

If there is ever a reason to be joyous today it’s for a dog named Gordy!

Over the nearly three years he was in shelter, he was always playful and happy,

and never seemed to lose his spirit. This is a rare thing. Because of this spirit, he

made it to a home with a huge yard and a dog friend. I new he would “get there”,

and it’s finally TRUE.

Oh Gordy, you are the dog I have been hoping for a forever home

for soooo long! Recalling all of our visits, whether they were swimming,

hiking or just playing in the yard, I will constantly remember our times together.

I will always love you Gordy….please know I think of you every day.


 

GORDY-ADOPTED!!!



I got the pleasure to hike with the infamous happy Gordy today!

It has been awhile since I’ve hiked, so I was so happy to get one

of the shelter dogs out on such a beautiful day!  I had never met

Gordy before, but have heard lots of wonderful stories about him,

so I was excited about getting to hike him.  Once he was brought

outside to me, I just knew I was going to fall in love with him, I mean

look at his face…how could you NOT!!  Once we got into the car

Gordy was definitely ready to go, if he could reach the pedals I probably

would have let him drive, because he seemed to know right where we

were going as he jumped right into the drivers seat.  Gordy got to drive

to the trail with his new girlfriend Jaelyn, who is as sweet as they come.

She is so sweet and patient with Gordy, as he was clearly on a mission

in the van going from the lap of Nicole to the backseat to sitting ON TOP

of Jaelyn! haha  But she didn’t seem to mind his shananigans, clearly she was

used to it, or she is just one patient woman!  Gordy and Jaelyn are one of the

cutest pairs I’ve ever seen.  Gordy is probably one of the happiest boys you

will ever meet, he is so happy that he kept re-injuring his tail at the shelter

(happy tail) and it had to be docked, but it doesn’t bother him, the nub

still wags his entire body! lol



Gordy did wonderful on the hike, he was a bit of a puller at first,

but nothing I couldn’t handle, and it was wonderful for going uphill!

As the hike went on he was pulling less and less, and he was very

receptive to me when I told him to hold on, he would usually stop

and look back at me “ok, I’ll wait”.  Gordy LOVES the water, every

puddle and creek he just had to stop and take a quick dip…so anyone

that loves to swim, Gordy is your boy!!  At the end of the hike we

simply just got in the creek and walked down until we came to the end of

our hike…both Jaelyn and Gordy loved it!
Gordy is such a lover boy, he wants someone to love so badly, it absolutely

broke my heart when the caretaker took him back to his apartment,

he put on his brakes and gave me the saddest face like “please don’t

make me go back”…my heart sank..and now I am crying at my desk

while writing this….in the short time I had this boy, he definitely took a

piece of my heart.  If you are looking for a fun, active, HAPPY, &

SWEET boy, Gordy is your man!  PLEASE consider adopting or

fostering Gordy!

KELLY


 

JAELYN




I had the pleasure of hiking with the beautiful Jaelyn this time. We went along with her

boyfriend and roomie, Gordy, and his hiking buddy for the day, Kelly.

We had the most perfect weather and Jaelyn was the most perfect hiking

buddy. She rode in the car so polite and calm, letting Gordy climb and even

sit on her, not caring one bit. She was just so happy to be out of the shelter

and on an adventure.

Jaelyn walks very well on a leash, never pulling, and throughout the hike
she would look back just to make sure I was still there and everything was
okay. The trail had some muddy spots from a recent rain storm and Jaelyn
was very courteous, slowing down to wait and make sure I was able to cross
without slipping. The entire day I don’t think that she could have been a more
perfect angel if she tried. She is a totally sweet love bug who just wants to
snuggle and give kisses. She was the absolute perfect hiking partner and
would make a wonderful addition to anyone’s home who is looking for a hiking
buddy, a couch snuggle buddy or anything in between. She really is an all around
amazing dog, not to mention totally beautiful, and anyone who spends any
amount of time with her will quickly realize that!
NICOLE



http://strayrescue.org/adopt/jaelyn

 

 

BOOGIE PILGRIM




I was thrilled to learn that Boogie Pilgrim would be my hiking partner

because 1) He’s my former enrichment buddy in the REP program so

we’re good friends; and 2) he is AWESOME, plain and simple!

Boogie, or my Boog Boog as I call him, wasn’t too sure about my

new car – or why the heck he had to sit in the way back, behind bars!

The nerve! I told him to talk to my husband about the new rule.

Boogie peered with sad eyes through the bars that separated us and

insisted I take a picture and send it to my husband to make him feel bad.

I did, but he didn’t fall for it. So Boogie put on a positive attitude,

deciding the bars were just a temporary barrier to a final day of fun.

He sat back, enjoyed the ride… and his peanut butter-filled Kong.

We arrived at the trail and everything went smoothly. For someone

who is apprehensive of new experiences, Boogie easily walked on the

metal bridge at the trailhead that some dogs have to be carried

across, and he did great on the hike. Because he has met and likes

some dogs, it’s not surprising that he wasn’t reactive to the other

dogs – at all.  Instead he wanted to sniff plants and roll around

in the leaves every few minutes, causing us to lag behind those in

front and hold up those behind. Those behind didn’t mind much

because it’s quite entertaining to watch him roll, twist, spin, and bury

himself in leaves up to his eyeballs. He wore himself out on the hike,

so I thought for sure he would sleep on the way back.  He must have

been afraid to miss something, because he just sat up with his eyes closed.

Back at the shelter, though, he was ready to go to his apartment. Probably to

sleep! I love, love, love this little Boogie Boy. He is a fun-loving, sweet guy who

loves his belly and chin rubbed. He’s a little leery of new things but he quickly

learns to trust and realize that the world isn’t as scary as it seems. He just

needs a special someone to demonstrate.  Might that be YOU?

LYNNE


http://strayrescue.org/adopt/boogie-pilgrim

 

 

WHIRLWIND



I was so excited when I found out that my hiking partner was

Whirlwind or “Whirlie.” I’ve always enjoyed walking Whirlwind, when

she was at 18th Street. When I walked her through the shelter past the

other cages, she was extremely curious and wanted to check out all the

other dogs in their apartments. It was a bit of a struggle to walk her

through the shelter, but once she got in the lobby she was perfect. She

sat like a lady in the entrance way, as we waited patiently for the rest of

the Four Directions hiking crew. Once the group was ready to go,

Whirlwind and I walked to my SUV. She jumped in to the back of my

Jeep with ease. She was a picture-perfect angel, staying in the back of

my vehicle. She didn’t even try to get in the front seat, like most dogs

like to do. (Especially my dogs! Ha! Ha!)



When we arrived to our

destination, we walked to the front of the line. Whirlwind was a great

leader. As long as we were in the lead, she was exemplary. She walked

with a steady pace with very little pulling. Occasionally, she would become

curious and look back at the other dogs and hikers. She would slow down

and turn around, thinking I wouldn’t notice. One of the times she looked

back, she accidentally bonked her head into a tree. The expression on her

face as she glared at the tree was comical. While we were on the trail, we

walked past a hunter in camouflage and a rifle. Whirlwind was great.

She walked by the hunter as if it was completely normal to see an armed

man in the woods. I, on the other hand, was a little freaked out, but relieved

to have group of dogs and hikers with me as “back-up.” (I guess the city girl

in me becomes a little nervous at the thought of someone walking around

a public area with weapons.)

We stopped twice for water/treat breaks. Whirlwind was superb. She sat patiently

for her treats. She even knew how to get into a down position for her goodies.

Even more amazing was the way she would accept the treat from my hands.

Whirlwind was surprisingly gentle. I am always super cautious with food-grabbing

dogs, thanks to my little rat terrier mix who likes to chomp my fingers while

grabbing a biscuit. On the way back to the shelter, Whirlwind slept most of the way.

She didn’t even want a jerky treat. She was content with a full belly of treats

and relaxed state of mind. This girl is AMAZING! I hope someone adopts

this beautiful grey girl soon! She deserves a forever home.

RUMI


http://strayrescue.org/adopt/whirlwind

 

 

HIDEAWAY



I hiked with Hideaway and we had the best time! She walks

like a dream! She is a tiny little thing that is full of kisses and cuddles.

We immediately became friends the second we met each other.

She is very well behaved in the car and remained very patient the entire

drive to the hiking spot. I did receive the occasional doggy kisses

which I did not mind, I enjoyed her sweetness.

Our hiking experience was wonderful! There was no pulling or crazy

behavior, just one incredible dog enjoying her hike and her human friend.

I could tell that she was happy to be out and enjoying the spring weather.

When approaching muddy areas and steep hills, Hideaway was very gentle

and remained calm for me. This was something that I was extremely appreciative

of. She just made the entire experience enjoyable and I found myself thinking

that this was by far, my favorite hike yet.

Hideaway was being her sweet self during the water breaks and enjoyed some

one-on-one time with me. I brought some yummy cheese treats for her and we

worked on a few commands that she conquered easily. She was not bothered

by any of the other dogs at all. Donna came by to take a few photos and she

fit perfectly into my lap to pose.

Her little legs were pretty worn out after the hike so she immediately hopped

in the back seat and sprawled out for a nap. I turned up the air conditioner

so she could cool off and she seemed to really enjoy it. She looked so cute

while napping!

Hideaway is adorable, loveable, obedient, smart, attentive, and the perfect size.

She is basically everything a family is looking for so hopefully

she will be in her forever home soon. She deserves it.

NIKOLE





http://strayrescue.org/adopt/hide-away

 

THUMBELINA



Thumbelina has the classic muscular body of a terrier, and while

she is fit and agile she is also on the smaller side and very easy to handle.

She was eager to get in the Jeep and start her adventure and with a little

boost; she hopped in and we were on our way.  She was very subdued

in the car and enjoyed looking out the window and occasionally giving

the humans a sniff to see what we were up to.   When her paws hit the

trail she fell in line with the rest of her hiking companions and enjoyed

the scenery, not showing much concern for the other dogs.

She was excited to check out the new surroundings but she was very receptive

to me and on occasion when she pulled too much a little tug would

remind her to slow down.  When we stopped for a break she enjoyed being

petted, and although she took treats gently from my hand she seemed more

interested in socializing with me than having a snack.  Thumbelina was a

wonderful hiking companion and I imagine that she would make an equally

good couch-companion.  How could anyone resist such a beautiful girl?

DAWN



http://strayrescue.org/adopt/thumbelina

 

DENISE



My hiking buddy this time was a mid-sized reddish terrier mix

named Denise, just an adorable little lady, super friendly and

light as a feather on the leash.  It sounds like a broken record,

but all the dogs from SR seem to the best behaved, easiest to

walk that you’ll ever come across, and Denise was no exception.

She is a mellow one, sometimes pulling me along the trail, sometimes

easy-walking along my side. Not a barker, and not aggressive

in the slightest bit.  When we stopped for snacks, she hung out

with me, rested and loved to be petted, sat on my leg and nibbled

the snacks I gave her.  This one looks to be ready for a big throw

pillow in someone’s family room, or sprawled out on a couch.

And while I’m no expert, Denise seems to have no problem with

other dogs.  We all try to keep them apart on the trail, but sometimes

they get a little close.  Denise showed no aggression, barely even

barked at the other dogs. Maybe sniffed a little, but she’s too much

of a lady to make a scene.


On the ride home, Denise napped a bit, looked out the window,

and was nice and mellow.  We stopped to get her a cheeseburger,

and quite a surprise, she wasn’t that interested.  Usually the dogs

will eat the wrapper if you give it to them, but Denise waited until

I removed the patty, then she chowed on that.  Maybe she doesn’t

like ketchup.  But she gently took the pieces out of my hand without

any fuss.  While we were at the burger joint, she hung out in the back of

the Jeep, with the hatch open, never even thinking about getting out.

Just a beautiful dog, and she will make an amazing friend to whoever is

lucky enough to get her.

TERENCE



http://strayrescue.org/adopt/denise

 

ARTIE



My wonderful Saturday started with a little meet & greet with

Artie, my hiking partner for the day. He was all excited for the trip—

ready for the adventure ahead and hopped up into my back seat

without any reservation, tail wagging the whole time. Although

there were a couple of toys to keep him entertained, all he wanted to

do was sit in the passenger seat next to me and watch the world go by.

He was calm and so well-behaved and even surprised me with a couple

big wet kisses on the side of my face (I think he was happy to be out and

about!). Midway through the trip to the trailhead he curled up on the seat

and put his chin on my leg as we drove, napping in the sun. He really

seemed to enjoy being near and having me scratch his ears along the way!

Once at the trail he was pretty excited to get rolling, still a lot of puppy in Artie!

He is fairly excitable with other dogs and wanted to talk to all of them when

we were standing around, but once we got onto the trail he settled in and was

a good partner, eager to be on the move. When we stopped at our rest points,

he thoroughly enjoyed rolling in all the dried leaves–legs waving in the air, goofy

smile the whole time! I gave him a few cookies and he took them so gently out

of my hand, a true gentleman. However, he didn’t quite understand that half of

hiking is appreciating the peace and calm of nature, as after a few minutes of rest

he wanted to get going again and wanted to let everyone know he was ready to roll

with a bit of barking! Again, once back on the trail he was sweet and happy as can

be–I think he definitely liked to be in motion, eager to see what was around the

next corner.

He loved getting in the water at the creek crossings and at every opportunity

would lay down in the water to enjoy–but be ready, because as soon as

he spots water he makes a beeline directly for it and you are along for the ride!

When his clumsy hiking partner took a wrong step and actually slipped into the

creek (embarrassingly!), he stopped and looked at me as if to say,

“See, it’s great, isn’t it?” :-)

At the end of the hike he hopped right into the car (passenger seat of course!),

and got settled in. He was asleep within minutes with his head draped in my lap

as we drove back to the shelter–a pooped puppy for sure. Exercise definitely

seems to be something this guy loves, and hopefully he’ll get the chance to be

someone’s hiking buddy again soon!

BETH



http://strayrescue.org/adopt/artie-0

 

 

LADY TULIP—ADOPTED!!

As of last week, Lady Tulip has been adopted! I am simply

elated to find this out, because I really didn’t feel that, from the time

we spent together, it would take long to find her a home, and

not having to tell you all about how wonderful she truly is gives me

great pleasure!! It’s not often that I can say this, so I am celebrating

in my own way. Lady Tulip, congratulations for being chosen!!





http://strayrescue.org/adopt