Our Fearless Dogs

Theresa, Shadow and Darby high above the Borrego Badlands

Although Shadow is afraid of the RV slideout, and Darby is afraid of the cracking sound of an expanding 2-liter soda bottle, our dogs are generally fearless, especially when it comes to heights. 


Darby on the edge of a sheer cliff at Fonts Point

Darby likes to walk right up to the edge of a cliff and look upon the valley below, in this case, the Borrego Badlands in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.


Shadow, Theresa and Darby enjoying the Vista del Malpais

It can be a little nerve-wracking for us to watch our dogs walk close to the edge of a cliff.  But generally they seem to be pretty careful and quite sure-footed.  On this day at the Vista del Malpais, a warm strong wind was whipping up the valley and pushing us back from the edge.  You can see Darby’s beagle ear flapping in the breeze.


Darby looking for jackrabbits in the Borrego Badlands

If it’s too windy, or the gravel seems loose, or the dogs venture too close to the edge, we’ll tell them to step back.  They usually listen quite well.  The dogs have had lots of practice hiking the cliffs at Little Wolf Nature Preserve.


Shadow and Darby in the Coronado National Forest

Even though the dogs seem aware of heights, I don’t think they quite understand the physics.  On this day in the Coronado National Forest, there were some people yelling and cars zooming by on a road nearly a mile away and 1000 feet below us.  The dogs heard this commotion and started barking at them as if they were just over the next boulder.


Shadow surveying the city of Tucson

We’re proud that we don’t have “sissy dogs.”  Sure we’d be very sad if they fell off the edge.  But the same is true of ourselves, since we too love heights and regularly walk right up to the edge of the tallest cliffs we can find.  There are inherent risks hiking any natural environment.  We just have to be mindful and careful.  And God forbid if something terrible happens, hopefully we will die doing what we love most: hiking together in the middle of nowhere.

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