18th Street Has The Best Dogs, plus a First Time Hiker Meets a Real Pit Bull (LOL)

Occasionally, I meet people interested in participating as a shelter

application letter for personal loan from company

volunteer and specifically ask to become part of the hikes

4 DH
does out on the trails. Their first hike is always a joy to be part of,

mainly because they show up early, look refreshed and have more than adequate

attire, gear, and enthusiasm. It is contagious, and I need a bit of inspiring

delight sometimes!

By the way, to avoid getting in trouble, I am NOT saying those who

have been veterans are no longer passionate, but, like most things in which

we participate, we get comfortable, and a bit relaxed. I am an example

of that very thing! Showing up a few minutes late is a reputation I have, as it

turns out, anyway!

For this hike, I happened to be BRINGING the rookie

hiker myself, since he is my good friend and future partner in business,

and happened to be visiting the area, attending meetings and sightseeing.

All the way from western South Dakota, we all welcomed Ed, this fine dude who

ASKED to participate in one of the hikes. Since I was certainly going to do my

best to leave a GRAND impression (even if it meant being ON TIME),

I made sure of a prompt appearance at the meeting point, the petite-sized

18th street shelter of Stray Rescue.

(turns out most of the crew was in fact late due to “traffic” issues!).

That worked in my favor. LOL.

I am happy to “report” that Ed was quite taken with the people and the dogs.

He actually had his very first encounter with a pit bull mix—ever!

I had to smile a little when he had indicated he had never “met” one before,

but I promised him he would SURVIVE
it, and  perhaps he would

CRAVE a second encounter.

Ah, rural South Dakota….

a future pit bull haven….

By the way, Quinn sure made sure of a perfect initial impression.

Before this post continues, I want to say thank you

to Courtney, who really went beyond the call of duty

and, reading her write-up got me quite emotional….

Love you, Courtney, you ROCK!!

18th Street has such a great group of dogs, several

of which are cleared* to hike with us. Thank goodness

they are available when the shelter at Pine is inaccessible

due to downtown events!!

(*Certain dogs cannot hike due to acute or chronic health issues, typically)

Enjoy the fun we all had that chilly morning

with Antoinette, Quinn (ADOPTED!), Diamond in

the Ruff, Wendy, and Sonny Crockett!

Words cannot express how excited I was when I found out that

I was hiking with my favorite Nettie girl. Since we know each other

so well, I knew it was going to be a wonderful time. As always,

I was greeted with happy barks and jumping at the door. I sat in

her apartment to put on her pink doggie coat and give her a few

belly rubs (her favorite).

She hopped into the back seat of my car and immediately relaxed.

She is excellent in the car, Nettie settles herself in the back seat when it

comes to car rides. She is one patient girl.

Time to hike! Nettie was ready to go! The snow was not going to get in

her way. She is awesome on the leash and is a great hiking partner.

She was gentle with me when it came to icy spots. During our water

breaks, I fed her a few treats and rubbed her ears. She is such a love bug!

I had to take a few photos of her because she is so beautiful and

the scenery was an added bonus. I also snuck in a few Nettie kisses too. :)

When the hike was over, it was pretty clear that she was wiped out.

She always quiet in the car but this time it was because she was

getting her beauty rest. I decided to make a quick stop at a drive-through

restaurant and got Nettie her own chicken breast sandwich. At first, she didn’t seem

too interested in it but it wasn’t long before she scarfed it up.

I’m so glad that I was able to hike with my buddy. She’s an awesome girl

and LOVES people. Despite her past before being rescued,

she welcomes anyone she meets with kisses and tail wags.



I had the special honor of hiking Heparin, a beautiful white angel.

Hep, or Heppie, as she sometimes known, knew right away that she

was going somewhere special. She barked and jumped as I put her

coat on and leashed her up.  Once in the car, she alternated between

the front and back seat before finally settling in the back. Not wanting

me to forget she was there, or perhaps from sheer gratitude, Hep gave

me kisses – big sloppy, wet ones – for the entire 20 minute ride.

I’ve never felt so loved in my life!

On the trail Heparin was perfect. I thought she would be more of a puller,

but she was in tune to my stride, slowing down when I pulled on the leash

while going down hills and turning around periodically to make sure I was

okay.  She didn’t react to the other dogs, even when in sniffing range of the dog

butt in front of her. When we stopped for a water break and treats, she took the

fresh turkey and roast beef I brought a little too exuberantly

(can you blame her?!), but when I reminded her with a firm “gentle,”

she took the food softly from my fingers. I was impressed with her

listening skills and touched by her desire to please.

I was curious as to what she’d do on the ride home. Sadly, I didn’t

get any kisses because she was too busy snoring in the back seat!

Back at the shelter, though, she gave me one last thank you kiss.

I would love for Heparin to get adopted. A loyal, affectionate,

obedient companion, she would do wonderfully in a home.



I had 2000 grand loan the pleasure of hiking with one of my best friends, Wendy,

who is a darling of the Stray Rescue 18th Street shelter.  She is the

epitome of a Doggie Princess from the way she sits and carries

herself, to the way she talks to you when she sees you, to the way

she prances on the hiking trail.  I knew we would have an amazing

day with the great weather and the group of people hiking that day.

I met her at her apartment at the shelter.  After our greeting filled

with hugs and kisses, I helped her put her warm coat on…it was a bit

cold and chilly that day.  However, my sweet Wendy Woo (her fan club

calls her Wendy Woo) loves the cold and loves the snow.  So, we both knew

it would be an excellent day for our time together with a little snow thrown

in for good measure.  She was a dream in the car on the way to the Chubb Trail.

She is so attentive and such a good listener in the car.  My sweet Wendy

assumed her favorite position in the car—the window seat so she could take

in every sight that passed us on our journey.  Wendy was so excited when we

arrived at the trail—she gave her little Wendy yodel and butt wiggle—I knew

she was happy!  She knew there was a fun day in store for both of us…there was

snow, a chill in the air, her 18th Street friends, and so many new smells awaiting

her!  Wendy settled into the hike immediately and took guidance from me

but she never really needed it—I could have put her on auto-pilot!  She was

such a great hiking partner that she often turned back to make sure I was

keeping up and when I would slow down she would too.

Wendy never reacted to the other dogs on the trail or anything

for that matter.  She enjoyed our water breaks and took the opportunity

to explore the off trail sights and smells.   We had an amazing hike

spending time together—we talked about what a beautiful girl she is

and what a wonderfully mannered young lady she has

become—she showered me with more of her sweet kisses.  Wendy was

a trooper the whole way back to 18th Street and was fast asleep as soon

as we pulled out of the parking lot.  It broke my heart to bring this sweet girl

back to her apartment, but she showered me with Princess kisses and

promptly put herself to bed for a much deserved nap.  Wendy is approximately

four years old and is 100% potty-trained.  She loves all the volunteers

who take care of her everyday but would really love a home with her

own forever family to take her on walks, watch HGTV, and her own bed

where she can take her afternoon naps.  Please check out Wendy

at http://www.strayrescue.org/adopt/wendy and her own Facebook page at


and meet this amazing girl!  She’s one in a million.



I had the opportunity to hike with Diamond in the Ruff,

and my favorite part of taking her hiking is the car ride

to and from the trail.

Upon leaving the 18 Street Shelter, Diamond immediately

thinks the first car parked at the curb is her personal limousine.

But with the snow, ice and Hot Chocolate Run that created issues

getting close to the shelter, I opted to park on Lafayette Avenue.

The more cars we passed on the way to my car, the more

Diamondthought she merely was going to a walk. When she

discovered my car,Diamond nearly yanked me into a huge snow

pile trying to get to the tailgate.

nce inside, Diamond examines every possible place to sit for the ride

to the trail, even on my lap behind the wheel. As usual, she settled for the

passenger seat, but at one point near Antire Road, she thought the view

looked better from the driver’s seat and climbed onto my lap and rode there

until we turned off.

Diamond enjoys hiking near the back of the pack, and the scents

on the trail were particularly interesting on the Chubb Trail. It was the first time

on this trail for both of us, and Diamond was very careful not to take the downhill

switchbacks too fast because of the ice and snow. We both thoroughly enjoyed

watching Sonny Crockett digging to China at the base of a dead tree stump,

and she no doubt snickered a little when I skidded and fell near the end of the hike.

And while Diamond certainly loved wearing the jackets provided,

she was very adamant about the fact that reindeer slippers are not

trail-rated for hiking.

We were visited by a group of hikers, and several trail runners. Diamond

waited patiently for the groups to pass, and also took treats gently from my

hand on our breaks. It was a strenuous hike in that we expended a lot of

energy staying on our feet. So with holiday music playing on the radio,

Diamond snoozed all the way back to the shelter, and at one point

snored even louder than Bruce Springsteen’s

version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

We all know our buddies have had the best time when they get back

to their apartments, climb on their beds and fall sound asleep.

And this hike was no exception.

Glad to make those later shelter shifts a little easier!



I was paired up with Sonny Crockett for my hike on a snowy,

cold Sunday morning in December. As we all met up at the

18th Street shelter and spent some time giving our friends

some love, everyone warned me “Oh Sonny, he’s a strong one!”

I laughed them off—didn’t these people know that my own foster

at home was super strong? I can handle anything!! Sonny is adorable

and reminded me a lot of my last forever dog, a chocolate lab.

He has a beautiful brown coat, spunky ears, and the way he

takes a treat is absolutely priceless. I advance imputation fund name change entered his apartment and

calmed him down best I could to get his harness and leash on.

He was so excited to get out for the day, as they always are. Once

we got to the car, Sonny really wanted to ride up front with me, but

when we started off down the highway, he settled nicely into the

back seat. By the time we reached our destination, the Chubb Trail,

Sonny was ready to go. He had enjoyed the ride just fine but this

boy needed his exercise and there was a lot to explore!

We hopped out of the car and anxiously awaited the others.

Sonny wanted to take the lead, but we went ahead and fell into the

second position in line instead. He didn’t seem interested at all in

the other dogs around him. There was way too much to smell and

look at and dig up than to worry about anything or anyone else on

the trail with him. Sonny is an inquisitive boy, and I underestimated

just how much he wanted to GO! He absolutely wanted to smell and

get into everything. Who can blame the poor pup! He’s pretty puppy

like at age 2, and he spends most of his day in an apartment. I let him

have his way on the trail, and he took it! We didn’t spend a lot of time

on the actual trail, as Sonny was far more interested in seeing what was

off of the trail. You can tell he has a lot of retriever in him, as he was

digging at trees and smelling his way towards something!

Sonny would make someone a great hunting or running companion,

because this boy has energy like I’ve never seen.

The trail was an intense one, and with Sonny taking me on adventure

after adventure off the trail, about two-thirds through I switched with Ed and hiked

with the sweet Quinn back to our cars. She is a total sweetheart and very laid

back on the trail, as long as she was in the back and didn’t have anyone behind her

to distract her. In fact there were a couple of times she just looked up at me like

“okay I’ve had enough, lets just sit here!” Completely different from Sonny,

Quinn really wanted to know what the other dogs behind her were doing,

so we stayed to the rear. I looked ahead at my new friend Sonny and

he was walking nicely next to ED!!!I laughed and thought

“well he must have worn himself out on the first part of the hike!”

The night before I went on this hike, I had slipped and fell while walking my

own foster dog. I didn’t think I was going to make it to the hike, but knew if I didn’t,

I’d be letting down the dog. The weather the next morning was perfect for staying in

bed all day, snuggled up with foster watching holiday movies.

My friends asked me the night before “why don’t you just cancel?

It’s not like the dog will know you aren’t there. Or can’t you just take

the dog on a regular walk, why does it have to be

on a hike in the snow?!” I told them I would know I wasn’t there.

When I told them the story about my hike with Sonny, they laughed and

said “don’t you wish you had just stayed home?” I told them with absolutely

no hesitation that no, I did not wish I had

just stayed home. I love hiking with these dogs, and they love going on the hikes.

It gets them out. They get to do things they don’t usually get to do. Of course I love

staying at home and snuggling with my foster dog. But she gets that every single day,

and the dogs in the shelter, while taken great care of, don’t get the one-on-one

attention all the time like a forever or foster dog does. Waking up early, bundling up,

getting stuck on a sheet of ice, and going on a snowy adventure with a super

excited shelter dog allows that dog feels special for one day.

It is absolutely, 110% worth every moment.



Quinn was everything I had hoped she would

be. I wanted Ed to meet a sassy, perky, and confident

little lady who would help him understand what I had been

describing to him for months!


WOW!! Where have YOU BEEN??!!”

She certainly gave him affection to the max, and let him be

in charge of the partnership they shared on the trail.

I don’t need to explain this to the reader!! You already KNOW how

PERFECT these dogs are, so….

In Ed’s own words, of which I am certain you will find worth the read…..

see below!


Visiting both the large and smaller shelters was a true experience.

I never realized so many dogs needed homes.

In the shelter the dogs are treated well & are being well-cared for,

but let’s be real–a dog shelter is not the life they deserve.

When I think of a person living a “sheltered life”, I think of a

stress-free existence, but when I think of a “sheltered” dog,

it’s totally different.

As far as being introduced to Quinn, the dog I was going hiking with,

well, we were quick to become friends, and I think she knew she was getting to go

some place out of the ordinary. On the way to the trail in the truck,

Quinn was well mannered & calm. During the hike, she was a team

player, being around several other dogs & hikers,

yet she hiked well with every one, and not much pulling on the leash, either.

The entire morning was great. I could tell she really enjoyed her time outside.

Looking forward to more hikes when I am in town.




4 Responses to 18th Street Has The Best Dogs, plus a First Time Hiker Meets a Real Pit Bull (LOL)

  1. Allison McCausland says:

    As Quinn’s foster-to-adopt mom, I appreciate how perfect of a breed ambassador this sweet sweet girl is. You and Ed can rest assured that she is being spoiled rotten and being given the life that she deserved and didn’t get for her first four years.

  2. Beth Bonasch says:

    You all could not look happier or more joy-filled. One of these times, I’ll get to go on one of the dog hikes. Any pooch will do.

    Bless you all.

    Beth Bonasch

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