Monday, March 28, 2011

Thacher Park

I cannot say enough how much I love living in Albany. I am, of course, biased because it is my home town. But I have traveled a bit and still find I love coming home to Albany and continue to love exploring it.

So reason 367 I love Albany: it is about 20 minutes away from Thacher Park! Thacher Park has been a place I have loved since I was young. On clear days, the view is incredible, looking out over Albany from the cliffs. Hawks nest in the cliffs, as well, and are constantly putting on little arial displays. The Indian Ladder Trail terrifed me as a child and as I grew, became a short trail of great fascination: you get to go into caves and walk under waterfalls! Part of the trail merges with the Long Path, which Chris and I want to hike someday.

Anyway, all these reasons and more are why I love Thacher Park :). So, now, we get to bring Koda there and share it with him.

Koda's favorite reason for loving Thacher Park.... it still has snow! He ate it, played in it, and just plain enjoyed it.

The creeks melted a bit and so Koda got to put his face into moving water for the first time. Adorable when he bit at it!

He also cannot stand when Chris explores something and he isn't with him. He follows Chris everywhere. So when Chris got up on the table, so did Koda, ha.

It was a gorgeous, blue-bird day! No one else was really at the park, because it is colder up there than in Albany. It is usually crowded on a hot summer day because it IS cooler.

We got to run and play and be silly. It was good for all of us.

And, now that Koda is growing up, he isn't tired out as quickly as he used to be. He didn't fall asleep on the ride home this time!

Until next time!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Corning Preserve Bike Path

Longing to play with the geese

Albany might not be perfect, but I feel lucky to live in a city with so many options to get outside! I have always utilized it's parks and ponds, but since owning Koda, I have never been so *grateful* for them.

Down by the Hudson River, a ten minute drive from my house, we have the Corning Preserve, located along the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. I have biked from Albany to Clifton Park on this trail and it's pretty cool. There is a section where it diverts you into a city and some neighborhoods where you have to be careful of cars (I try to avoid that section now) but the fact that it is there and very well maintained makes me happy!

(note: we saw a bald eagle on this walk, flying low over the river... beautiful!)

We brought Koda here with a group of friends over the weekend. The Hudson was high and brown because of the spring run-off. But ducks and geese are migrating over Albany on their way up north, and Koda has a new-found "love" of these birds, haha. I will be keeping him on a leash for a long while!

Albany is rather historic, as well, so you get to read some signs and see canals. I want to bring Koda up soon to the parks a little farther north, around Troy, to see the locks. I've loved these places since I was a kid. Koda doesn't care so much about the history... but the SMELLS! Oh, the smells, how he loves them. Tons of deer and rabbit tracks for him to shove his nose into. Plus, lots of other dogs and people to meet!

So, spring is coming, it is a little brown, the rains and slush still come, but we can all feel it and we are ready! Koda is growing into a gorgeous and sweet dog that I am so proud of. More to see and do, and we will tell you all about it soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is Coming!!!

And while Koda may be born to romp in the snow, he is surely enjoying how much more often and how much LONGER we get to stay out and play!

He loves getting on park benches (as do many other dogs, as  the old paw prints hint at!)

He is getting humongous... approaching his 6 month birthday, he was already weighing in at almost 50 pounds! (today is officially his 6 month birthday, but I am not sure exactly how much he weighs)

His behavior is getting better and better. Some of it I attribute to him simply getting older and being able to quell his excitement more, but some of it has to be the fact that we are working on it all the time! He listens pretty well, sits and stays like a pro, and is super sweet to humans. One thing I am having trouble working on: he just wants to wrestle every dog he meets! He isn't aggressive, but he is overly physical and I have to rein him in, because it makes the other dog's owner nervous.

But, time and exposure I am sure will help that! We go to the dog park and the bike path, where there are tons of dogs.

So, I will leave you with some pictures of Koda, growing as the spring starts showing through the barren landscape of the Northeast!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lake George

We decided to head up to Lake George for a hike, test how Koda would do in a longer car ride.

One hint: vomit.

Haha. He had gotten himself all worked up when we stopped for bagels by playing in the parking lot's snow banks and proceeded to vomit twice when we got back onto the road.

Well! Enough grossness.

Onto beauty!

We attempted to climb 5th peak in Lake George, though we did not finish, because Koda had already had a very trying day with an hour in the car and wearing himself out in the parking lot before we ever got started!

That does not mean that we didn't have a lovely 3 mile walk through the woods!

The woods were gorgeous. The snow was thick. Koda was enjoying himself to the fullest. Exploring holes:

And just generally being the cute, happy puppy that he is:

I really cannot say enough how much I love this dog. He is so intelligent and so sweet. Yes, he is full of all the energy you would expect out of a 5 month old, 45 pound German Shepherd, BUT it is so rewarding to see my patience, time, and energy pay off and result in a really fun dog! We have our moments were training seems to go awry and my patience wears thin and he gets frustrated, but it is a learning process.

At our best, he listens, sits, stays, and comes. He is learning, slowly, to heel as well. That one has been a learning process for me, as well, because it is not something I have ever taught before. But 5 months in, and I think we are both starting to get it!

I love watching him experience this life, so many things for the first time.

This might have been our last hike where I need to wear snowshoes. The snow is slowly melting around these parts, making a lot of the logistics easier on me. So look forward to more updates on our progress! We have a goal of getting to the top of a High Peak together by the end of the summer :D

Until then, enjoy a photo of one of the most tired, contented dogs I've ever seen!