We were invited to The Adirondacks this past weekend and had some unique lodging. It was a reconstructed silo turned cabin. The cabin faced a decent sized lake and Niko got to hang out with our friend Ryan's dog, Cabela, a 2 year old black lab. They met half a year ago when Niko was smaller. They had a fabulous time together. Cabela is the best behaved dog I've come across. Ryan takes her duck hunting and Cabela knows how to fetch the game. I witnessed her carry a piece of firewood from the back of the cabin to the fire pit in front. She is a great influence on Niko. Niko's training is lacking when compared to Cabela, but Cabela's discipline was motivation for me to do more training with Niko this summer.
This trip was also a milestone for Niko. For months now, after a few runaway incidents, we haven't let Niko off the leash outside any kind of barrier. The Shiba Inu breed is known to be independent and the wandering type. The property was on a private lake in the woods, with very little traffic. We were on a dead end road next to a neighboring cottage. With Cabela's influence, we let Niko roam free during daylight. The first several times he went off, we held our breaths. I learned not to chase after him because that would make him run even more. After discovering the neighbor's property up the hill, he'd jog back down to see us. We even took 2 hikes with him off leash. There were several unnerving times when he'd go down a path we didn't plan on taking. We would slow down and continue on our way without Niko. Eventually, we would hear the jingling tags on his collar and he'd come trotting back to join us. The sound of him in the distance was a great relief each time. Our trust in Niko has been restored (for now).
The bugs were out especially on our hikes. Niko would walk ahead of us and out of nowhere, plops down and snaps his jaw to kill the flies that were buzzing around him.
Niko once again had an excellent time in the outdoors. He was active from morning till night and at times even tired out Cabela, who is twice his size and full of energy herself.