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Date Sent:      May 01, 2008
Subject:           The Doggie Excuse
From:               John Bondon
We had at least 45 hikers and a few dogs show up for last Sunday's Lake Chabot hike in Castro Valley. There were a few late arrivals so I lost track of the final count, but quite a large turnout, and a beautiful day for a hike. And what incredibly perfect timing as well. While temperatures soared to 90 degrees Sunday in Concord, Castro Valley's 78 degree climate was perfect for hiking. At least for me. But unfortunately not so much so for my dog, Casper. You may recall it was just 3 weeks ago that I wrote about the difficult time I had on a recent hike, and my dangerous pulse rate. That time I lagged behind because I was not in the proper physical condition to proceed any faster. But this past Sunday, I lagged behind the group because my dog was having difficulty. At first I thought it was just his age finally catching up with him, but I soon realized it was the heat that was bothering him. Yes, that same 78 degree temperature that I regarded as pleasant hiking weather, I suspect he regarded as plain old HOT under that fur coat of his. So Casper and I took it slow, taking numerous water and rest breaks in the shade that easily lasted 20-30 minutes each. Enough time to allow for his breathing to stablize and his tongue to retract back to normal levels in his mouth. So while the rest of the group probably finished that hike around 1 or 2 pm, Casper and I didn't make it back to the parking lot until 4pm ... more than 5 hours after starting!

Speacial thanks to Andrew, Diane, and Steve for helping to lead, and especially for taking over the leading duties when it was clear I was way behind.

I'm happy to report that Casper is fully recovered and doing just fine now, though he will be much more selective in the future hikes he accompanies me on.

A Preview of our next hike:

Andrew says of the upcoming 3 Peaks on Diablo hike on Sunday at 10:00 AM: "When was the last time you stood on 3 Diablo Peaks on the same day?".

You'll find more details about this upcoming hike posted on the East Bay Casual Hiking website. In the event of rain, please check with the hike leader as to whether the hike will proceed as planned.

Happy Trails! :)

Happy Trails,

John




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