The rain all week long meant Niko had to stay indoors except for quick potty breaks. On Saturday when the sun came out, Niko and I took the opportunity and went over to a very beautiful place called The Glen. It is less than 5 minutes away by car. There are a few trail heads and I chose one that goes along a creek. The autumn scenery was very nice to take in.
The creek was running and we had to cross it a few times. It was at most an inch deep, but I tried my best to step across rocks to avoid wet feet. Since it was so secluded, I let Niko off the leash. As I have mentioned in other posts, Niko hates water. This summer he made baby steps by approaching ponds slowly to drink out of them. One other time, I had to drag him on the leash to cross a shallow part of a river with me.
On this particular hike, Niko showed some courage. Maybe it was because he was off leash and the excitement of discovering the place overshadowed his fear of water. As I carefully stepped on rocks to cross the creek, he trotted over the shallow water like a natural and a bit like a showoff!
After that, we continued walking uphill. Niko marked his territory every chance he got. He must have known my directional skills are horrible when I'm in a place with no street signs or buildings. And since Ed wasn't with us, there was a chance we'd get lost. It reminded me of the story of Hanzel and Gretel when the ingenious kids left crumbs to find their way back. Except, Niko didn't have crumbs. So, he had to keep drinking water.
On the way back, I stopped and found a spot by the same waterfall to take a break. I did some reading and snacking. It was so nice to have the waterfall in the backdrop and to listen to the natural sounds of the water. To my surprise, Niko went down the hill, drank some water from the bank, and stepped onto what was the top of the waterfall. It sounds dangerous, but he was OK since the water is very shallow and not strong enough to pull him into the waterfall. He crossed to the other side and went up another trail. I saw him pause to see if i was coming. When he realized I was seated by my tree and not going anywhere, he came back to me. Of course, my gourmet platter of cheese, crackers, and pepperoni made coming back to me more motivational.