I'm a Brit living in Southern California. I’ve been here for about 20 years now and yes, I can be a bit gobby. These are my observations, comments and sometimes rants about the differences between my home and my adopted home.
On Sunday we decided to take the trail at Griffith Park up to the top. I had never done it before, but my daughter is a pro (so she tells me). "It will be good exercise for you," she said, "and bring the dog," she said, "he needs to get out after his surgeries" she said. [I have the most expensive dog in the history of dogs - two ACL tears in two years with two surgeries of around an arm and a leg each - Yes, it's expensive, but he's soooo cute and quite young so how could we not??]
Oh dear, look at those trails!!!
So off Charlie and I went, out to Los Angeles to meet her. The dog's excited to be in the car on the freeway with his head hanging out the window and his lips waving in the wind. We get to Griffith Park and up I look at the trail... And up, and up... Oh dear, what have I got myself into?
Off we go and it's all going tickety-boo, until we meet the first dog...Charlie being unaccustomed to other dogs because of his confinement decides he wants a piece of that... Struggle number 1. And on it went, him pulling me up the hill, wanting to get in the faces of all the other dogs - as if I wasn't worn out enough. And then, all of a sudden, he's done, finished, had enough and drags me to the shade sits, then lays down, puffing and panting, tongue hanging out. He would not move, no matter what I did, he wouldn't budge. I gave him water, which he drank like he was in the Sahara, and then I put ice on his head. I've never seen a dog so tired that he will let ice melt on his noggin' without even attempting to shake it off - he was that tired.
A very, very tired dog
We sat there for a few minutes (quite a few minutes actually). I had a couple of snacks in my bag so we ate those (yes, I am such a mum) then attempted to get him up and back on the trail. Nope, he wasn't having it. Fast forward and we decide we had better turn around and go back the way we came. Well, that was not so easy either, stupid dog wanted to keep stopping for a rest. How do you convince a dog to get a move on and that it will be quicker if he stops stopping? For a moment there, we even discussed the possibility of having to air lift him out. Try explaining that to your health insurance company. We did finally manage to get him back to the car and decided that we should go for brunch instead!**
It was still a great day though and the views from the top (or half way up actually) were wonderful, if a little hazy. It was extremely hot, which apparently didn't help the dog. I was so looking forward to getting to the top and having the 360 degree view, but maybe next time. And I will possibly leave the dog at home.
Yes, that is LA in the distance
So if you are planning a hike up there, a couple of things to remember:
Take plenty of water (because the dog will drink it all, even yours)
Remember sun block (yes, I got sunburnt - English and the midday sun and all that)
Be prepared to spend the whole day there (especially if you have a lazy dog with you)
Have a Plan B - Brunch is always good!
Oh, and note to self : Do not take a dog who has not been on a good walk for 18 months and has forgotten ALL his manners.
** In case you were wondering, we went for bruch/lunch at Spitz Doner Kebab and while it's not exactly the same as an "English" kebab, it's pretty damn close! And it was absolutely fan-bloody-tastic. There again, as most of the time kebabs are the essential "after a night of drinking" meal in England, it may very well be the same. *Grin*