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photo 3 (3)This morning Riggins, Asscher and I headed up to Griffith Park to check out a new trail.  Not a new trail to this earth.  A new trail to us.   As I’ve mentioned before when I’m hiking I don’t listen to music or podcasts so that I can be alert for critter/snake/bad people sounds.  This means it is a good time for my mind to wander.  Here are my random thoughts from today’s adventure.

* Why all the nature tagging?  Recently I’ve noticed an increase of tagging on my hikes.  Why?  (I suppose the real answer is an increase in gang activity and a decrease in police activity but I don’t want to think about that.) I’m not an expert but these do seem to be gang/territory related.  It’s bad enough when buildings and property are covered in spray paint but it just plain ol’ sucks when it starts showing up on trees and rocks.  Today I saw a side of a hill tagged.  Side of a hill?!?!?!?  First of all, what good does that do?  Someone has to walk uphill a good 1/2 hour before they even see it.  Have gangs now become more health conscious?  Have they added cardio to their daily routine?  Why there?  The scenic overview of the golf course is a great place for a drug buy?  I’d also like to point out that you have tagged dirt.  Although I find this almost humorous it is less than permanent, which I think is your ultimate goal.  When LA eventually gets a good rain your “art” will get washed away.  You are also making it very difficult for me to take nature photos of the dogs.  Lots of the good views are now scarred by your markings.  Please stop.  It’s really disgraceful.

photo 2 (4)*  Hey fellow dog folks … pick up your dog’s poop.  First of all it’s the law.  I know you are laughing at me as I’m the “no leash on hikes” gal law or not but this law I actually follow.  First of all poop all over the trails is gross.  It smells like … well like poop and that is not pleasant.  It’s the number one reason non-dog owners give for not liking dogs on trails and paths and who can blame them?  Don’t give them that ammo.  Just pick it up like a good dog owner.  Those who don’t pick it up will tell you it’s natural fertilizer.  They are full of crap (ha ha ha … crap … get it).  Dog poop is not always healthy.  It can contain viruses, microbes, and bacteria that will eventually make its way into the water table.  Dog poop can also contain nasty stuff like adenovirus, parvovirus, giardia, coccidian, roundworm, and tapeworm (bad gross bugs).  It just so happens that dogs like to eat other dogs poop so not picking up your dogs number twos makes it harder for another dog to walk past such delicious temptation.  Your dog may have a clean bill of health but the next poop dog may not.  Best to keep all temptation away.  Just like shoes, socks and cell phones (all of which have been munched on by Riggins at one time or another).  I realize it’s a pain in the butt sometimes (butt … poop … get it) but just do it.  Hard core dog poop advocates will tell you that you should flush your poop.  I don’t go that far.  Just pick it up in one of those biodegradable bags and toss it in a trash can.  Sure then it is doing bad stuff to landfills but baby steps.

photo 1 (5)*  I really didn’t like the guy walking his great dane on the trail today.  He was trying to be a good dog owner and “correct” his dog as he walked but he was just being a big ol’ mean man.  When I saw he was being super strict I pulled Asscher and Riggins toward me to keep them from distracting the poor dog.  I give the dogs a lot of freedom on trail walks.  Sidewalk walks they have to “walk pretty.”  That means walk next to me like you would see Cesar Millan doing in one of his many TV episodes.  The trail, though, is their time to sniff around and have fun.  Honestly this guy is lucky I had the two of them on leash at all.  Apparently he did not agree with this philosophy as he was going to make his dog stay next to him, head straight come hell or high water.  The dog had a choke chain on, which I hate.  I realize many people use them and they have proven to work for many.  They just scare me.  I feel like they could harm a dog’s throat.  I much prefer walking harnesses that correct in other ways.  He would yank on that choke chain with such vicious anger it was scary.  His face would get all twisted up.  He was the alpha.  He was in charge.  He was the human … GOD DAMN IT!  It made me sad.  Great danes don’t have a long life span.  Only 6-8 years normally.  They are gentle giants and the poor guy just wanted to say hi to the other dogs on the path or watch a squirrel go up a tree.  His dad didn’t need to be so rough with him.  I wanted to punch the guy in the kidneys, tell him his dog’s deserves to be cuddled not tugged during his short life, grab his dogs leash and take off.  I suppose that would have been a little over dramatic.  I’d like to think he is actually a very well taken care of dog with an owner that is just strict on walks.  Perhaps he went home to a nice comfy bed for a peaceful post hike nap!