My fears were unfounded it turned out. I went for a short spin at the dump this morning, and Heart was a star. She is a great trail dog with some pretty good instincts. She always likes to stick close to Sue and I. I was hoping this would be the same while riding, and it was.
What surprised me though was that she liked to take the lead on the trail. She was happily running in front of me for most of today’s ride. Once free in the bush she carried herself well, and looked very confident. I loved seeing her like that.
We took some easy trails and I made a short loop. During our breaks Heart would roam around a little checking things out, looking down gullies, sniffing the air. She really seemed in her element.
We came to a stream crossing at one point and while I rested she wandered around checking things out, even walking through the stream a little. Heart even took log piles in stride, and easily trotted across a couple bridges without any hesitation.
One descent we were on, I could see her beelining from the side right for where I was headed. At the last second she slowed enough that we didn’t collide.
The only negative thing that happened was on Skull Trail. This back and forth downhill trail is pretty fast, and Heart was keeping up just fine. Until she stopped to sniff something. When I stopped and looked back to find her, she was nowhere to be seen, and I couldn’t hear her collar jingling either. I called for her and I saw her take off up the hill away from me. I yelled her name a few more times and she turned around and raced down the hill to me.
Back at the truck, she quickly climbed into the back seat and curled up for the ride home. Mission accomplished.
For the rest of the day Heart has been pretty quiet. Tonight she is flaked out on her bed and really isn’t moving all that much. A tired pooch is a happy pooch.