We took advantage of yet another beautiful spring day yesterday with a walk along the Ohio-Erie Canal in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation area. Our favorite walking buddies (Courtney & Teresa ) and a few of the furry faces from the Funny Farm accompanied us once again. Also making a special guest appearance is Courntey's cutie-pie of a nephew, 3-yr old Logan (pictured above). Brutus and Logan get along great, and as you'll see, are better buds than ever after this adventure.
After a short ride in the HeeHaw mobile, we set out on the towpath. We were a force to be reckoned with, 28 feet strong (we 4 bipeds, plus the 5 canines). Make that 28 feet and 4 wheels, since Courtney pulled Logan (as well as some important supplies) in a wagon.
The trail begins on a boardwalk across a huge marsh. This is quite the nature preserve, and all sorts of creatures were just reappearing after hibernation. We saw lots of turtles (biggify to see all the little bumps on the logs for what they really are),
And one very slow-moving froggie, bravely sitting on the path.
The temperature was in the mid-60s and it was much sunnier than we anticipated, so Brutus needed lots of breaks and water to keep from getting overheated. Since we were already stopped, we decided it was time for the obligatory group photo. From left to right, that's Taz, Jaeger and Sadie Lou (back side of bench), and of course Brutus and Logan in the front.
Soon we continued, hoping that the wooded path ahead would offer some much-needed shade for Brutus. It's been so unseasonably warm here lately, we keep forgetting how early in the year it really is, and that the trees have only just begun to leaf out. Poor Brutus, there wasn't much shade to be had. I ended up carrying him for a while (to the amusement of passers-by), but toting a 25-lb bowling ball with legs was not the easist way to hike. I was so relived when Logan, being the nice little guy he is, offered Brutus the front seat of his wagon as a more comfortable alternative.
This ended up being a great solution, and Brutus was hot enough that he cooperated pretty willingly. Not to say that he didn't leap out a few times - to the utter deligth of Logan, who thought this was the funniest thing he'd ever seen!
That's me in blue walking next to the wagon, poor Courtney out in front pulling it. Brutus almost doubled the original payload, so Courtney really got her workout on this hike! Brutus was certainly appreciative of her effort, although not above doing a little backseat driving...
Can't you go any faster, Courtney? Hey, watch out for that hole! Precious cargo back here, you know!
So in the end, Logan and Courtney saved the day, at least for Brutus. As it was, he was one hot Frenchie by the time we got back to HeeHaw mobile, and definitely appreciated it's air-conditioned interior!
If my tongue gets any bigger, it's gonna cover my whole face!!
Not to say that any dog can resist a little head-out-the-window time. Brutus was riding in style, after all (don't worry I only let him do this for a minute, and had him firmly strapped in!)
In the short time it took for us to return to the Funny Farm, Brutus had recovered nicely. We got unpacked, and Teresa made sure that all furryfaces were present and accounted for. Brutus (with me behind the camera) is #9 - if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can count for yourself. Yep, that's everfurrybody!
As a thanks for sharing the wagon with him, Brutus offered to help Logan with some sidewalk art while the rest of us looked on.
Here, Logan. Use the green chalk next!
And so for Logan, here's one more big, thankful smile from your pal Brutus. Frenchies are like elephants, they never forget! Brutus will be happy to return the favor however he can, preferably by helping to clean your cute little face the next time you eat some ice cream!!
Thanks for the lift, little buddy!