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wolffie
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wolffie
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PostThu Sep 13, 2012 11:11 pm 
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Pasayten Loop, east of Ross Lake.  How to evacuate a small dog. pics added.

Joker Mt. dog brag.  Al doesn't see what's so funny...
Joker Mt. dog brag.  Al doesn't see what's so funny...
Late Pleistocene GPS.
Late Pleistocene GPS.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Devils Dome Tr#752 9/6/12, Day 6.  Retreating to East Bank Trail.  Corgi Rescue Sling V.2.3.
Devils Dome Tr#752 9/6/12, Day 6.  Retreating to East Bank Trail.  Corgi Rescue Sling V.2.3.

Chancellor Tr #754 > Center Mt > Sky Pilot Pass > Devils Ridge Tr #752 > Holman Pass > PCT > Rock Pass > Woody Pass > Hopkins Pass > Castle Pass > Three Fools (aka Castle Pass) Tr #749 > Lightning Creek Trail > East Bank Trail > Devils Ridge Tr #752 > Devils Pass > Jackita Ridge Tr #738

Route aborted west of Dry Creek Pass, evacuated lame dog via East Bank Trail on Ross Lake.  No tent, no bugs, no cold, no wind, no clouds, no heat (until summer returned on the last day).  Last of summer, first of autumn.  Seemed too good to be true, and it was.

Green Trails 15’ Ross Lake (cut down) & Jack Mt
USGS 7.5’ Skagit Peak (small photocopy OK) and  Castle Peak
I carried two 2 qt. juice bottles plus a  plastic bladder (from cheap boxed wine or Starbuck’s catering box, light and handy but fragile, needs a stuff sack for protection).
I have a new squat dark-anodized 1 qt. teakettle.  The shape and dark anodizing, with a tight windscreen, make it notably fuel-efficient.  5 days solo on 375 mL white gas with an MSR whisperlite, one night’s snowmelt.  Never thought of pitching the rain fly.  Never used the water filter or treated any water.  The 6' bamboo pole was most useful in the tangled blowdown, and with a heavy load.  Much better than a pair of hiking poles IMHO.  Some DEET was welcome during the evacuation.
Chancellor Tr#754.  Slide past Boulder Ck.  Not horse-friendly.
Chancellor Tr#754.  Slide past Boulder Ck.  Not horse-friendly.
Chancellor Tr #754.  Mill Creek.  "RISDON IRON WORKS SAN FRANCISCO 1902".  The funnel for a flume is at left.  I think this is a gear box for a Pelton wheel for the North American Mine south of Mill Ck.  Note zinc(?) bearing sleeves.
Chancellor Tr #754.  Mill Creek.  "RISDON IRON WORKS SAN FRANCISCO 1902".  The funnel for a flume is at left.  I think this is a gear box for a Pelton wheel for the North American Mine south of Mill Ck.  Note zinc(?) bearing sleeves.

Day 1 9/1/12  Sat.
If you’re getting NCNP permits on Labor Day weekend, get to Marblemount 30 min. early.  They open at 7:30 AM.  The line builds fast.  I wanted a permit for midweek (Wed 9/5/12).  As it happened, I saw perhaps 1 pair of hikers and no backpack campers on the East Bank Trail between Lightning Creek and Ruby Arm (midweek).  I pushed hard to make my reservation site for no good reason, perhaps at some harm to my dog.  All campsites were empty.  They have no bear-poles or anything like that (the boat camps have bear-safes).  Dogs are allowed in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area.
Chancellor Tr #754
Very good until Mill Creek, thereafter it starts getting brushy but easy to follow.
HORSEMEN:  the trail is officially closed to stock; I don’t know what a horse can do, but there IS a very dangerous-looking slide just past Boulder Ck, turnaround difficult; I’d say only a bold/reckless expert could get a horse across here, very dangerous, and it would take major blasting to get this slide safe for stock.
I encountered 2 hikers who claimed to have seen a 2-headed snake (one head at each end).  They declined to share that good stuff they were smoking (*I* was the one with a liter of 150 proof rum).  One of them claimed to see a tongue flicking at either end.  This was a rubber boa.  This snake’s schtick is to move so slowly you think it’s a stick, or a slug.  Google it, and you'll find many photos of 2-headed snakes (one at either end, or 2 at the anterior Y).  When I start seeing 2-headed snakes… I go home.

Past Chancellor, trail deteriorates.  At just under 1 mi., a 30’ section is utterly washed away.  Just past this, easy ford/step-across at low water, look for cairns on the other side that mark the trail, not too hard to find.  I saw no sign of the Anacortes Crossing trail, but did not look for it.  I carried 6 qts. water (with 9 days’ food) up Center Mt. That ridge is as dry as Utah. This was brutal.  There are maybe 200 downed trees here, mostly small walkover stuff.  Trail not hard to follow.  Not as bad as lower Three Fools Trail.  Needed extra food for this push.  On my last legs, I was rewarded by full moon rise at Center Mt. summit.  Friday was a blue moon.   A perfect night.

Day 2 9/2/12  Sun.
Abundant water east of Pt. 7176 N of Sky Pilot Pass.   Nothing before that.

May I rant? 
If you camped at Holman Pass 9/1/12, 100 yards W of the jct., you did not put out your campfire.  I smelled the smoke.  The stones were still hot at 2:00 PM.  I found dry ashes and coals hot-to-touch between the rocks that had never been touched by the meager water you put on it.  I put almost all my water on it.  Passersby contributed theirs.  The woods were a desert-dry tinderbox.  Had a wind come up, it could have fanned this into a wildfire.  That’s how Big Hump Fire started exactly a year ago.  As I write this (9/13/12), 100 wildfires are burning in Washington.  You can smell the smoke in Seattle.  Red sunrise/sunset. There was no need at all for this substantial campfire.  I spent that night at 6590’ comfortably with no shelter, no tent, no wind, no fire.  Summer weather.  You built a large toy fire where there was no water to control it, when you did not need it.  Regrettably, this is not the stupidest campfire behavior I have seen in my life, but it’s a contender.  Get a stove.
I took off for Rock Pass with 1 pint of water left and no idea where the next water would be.  Thanks.    [end of rant]
PCT.  Woody Pass from Rock Pass 9/2/12.  Plenty snow up there for water.
PCT.  Woody Pass from Rock Pass 9/2/12.  Plenty snow up there for water.

Water flowing perhaps ½ mi. S of Rock Pass; last flowing water before perhaps 1 mi. N of Hopkins Pass (not counting Hopkins Lake).  Snow patches S of Rock Pass.  Snow at Woody Pass (my only snow-melt night).  Nice camp just below Woody Pass, shared with a minimalist PCTer.  Offering Walt a cup of grog was one of the trip’s high points.  smile.gif

Day 3  9/3/12  Mon.
Bumbled up Three Fools Peak and followed Lakeview Ridge (highly recommended).  Stunning scenery.  Collected snow at Three Fools summit, and got a text message out. 
Met a PCTer who also had a well-loved corgi at home named Indy because they found him one July 4 in a dumpster.  Really.
I had not done my homework re water at Castle Pass, and this cost me an hour;  I backtracked over a mile to the streams perhaps 1 mi. N of Hopkins Pass (due W of Blizzard Pk 7622), but there might be water flowing shortly N of Castle Pass.  I loaded 8 qts. here and lugged them back down to Castle Pass and then up to Pt. 6525 on Three Fools (Castle Pass) Tr#749.  Not counting possible water N of Castle Pass, there is no water between the streams W of Blizzard Pk 7622 and a spring/stream in the steep meadow slopes SW of Pt. 7257 above Big Face Ck, which is a strong permanent stream.
Bivvied in a burn atop Pt 6525, small-scale ecocrime.
Lakeview Ridge from N side Three Fools Pk.  Above PCT.
Lakeview Ridge from N side Three Fools Pk.  Above PCT.
Three Fools Peak, NW face.  He has a right to a nap; he just climbed it.
Three Fools Peak, NW face.  He has a right to a nap; he just climbed it.
Camp 3, 6500, Castle Pass Tr  (Three Fools Tr) #749.
Camp 3, 6500, Castle Pass Tr  (Three Fools Tr) #749.

Day 4 9/4/12  Tue.
The trail bends S around the Two Buttes Ck cirque.  Hot burn here, all dead snags.  Old established campsites at the notches between hilltops.  This section is pure joy.  Gawjus.
Looking up Big Face Basin.  Joker Mt. at left.
Looking up Big Face Basin.  Joker Mt. at left.
Castle Ridge Tr#749, 6400, leaving the burn, about to traverse into Big Face basin.
Castle Ridge Tr#749, 6400, leaving the burn, about to traverse into Big Face basin.
Looking  SE from Tr#749.  Woody Pass dead center.  The big peak is 3 Fools.  Lakeview Ridge to left.  Powder Mt. & Shull Mt. to right.
Looking  SE from Tr#749.  Woody Pass dead center.  The big peak is 3 Fools.  Lakeview Ridge to left.  Powder Mt. & Shull Mt. to right.
Joker Mt. summit.
Joker Mt. summit.

Dropping into Big Face was not as bad as I’d feared.  Trail hard-to-follow in only one short place down low.  It is very brushy.  The Big Face valley will remind you of the Napeequa, if you’ve been there.  A climber might be tempted to traverse the cirque to the NW ridge of Joker, but there’s a reason the trail descends here.   It can't stay high.

I loaded 6 or 8 qts. at Big Face.  There is no water between here and Three Fools Creek near Little Fish Shelter (but there was some snow, see below).  Past Big Face Ck, the trail continues brushy but is hard-to-follow only in some upper meadows.  The tributaries were dry.  Lots of bear scat.  You could have a lot of fun with a loppers and pruning saw here.
Trail #749A quickly fades to an animal track and disappears, but one scarcely needs it.   Dumped gear at 6898 and climbed Joker Mt., a lovely easy walk-up with lots of snow near the summit and a crumbling cornice.  Collected snow.  Bivvied at 6898.  Jupiter and Venus made Sirius look dim.  The north Cascades are in your lap.

Day 5  9/5/12  Wed.
Followed the ridge.  We hit every peaklet from Joker 7603, 6898, 6800, 6687, to 6420.  We could look back to Center Mt., and see the entire route we’d followed, every peak we’d climbed or slept on.  Townsend’s solitaires and mountain bluebirds (learn your birds, worth it).  Possible low-impact campsite ESE of Freezout Lake at 6650, bare scree.  There was a tiny snow patch here!    Vast acres of Mouse-on-a-Stick.  Enthralling country.  Skagit Pk  looks unapproachable from here, 2 chasms, gendarme, but maybe one could drop around them.  Began descent 1:10 PM. 1st switchback at2:10.  Course SSE, closely-spaced switchbacks.  A near, perched, immature goshawk flew when it heard my camera’s startup whirr, the second one I’ve seen this late summer, eye stripe and fine barring clearly visible without binoculars.
There were about 6 nests of awful, tangled blowdown where trailfinding was difficult, often obscuring switchbacks.  Take your time.  When in doubt, go back to where you last had the trail, then pick it up under the blowdown.  Resist the temptation to push on.  You need this trail.  Below about 2800, the valley becomes a steep gorge, and the trail follows its upper lip westwards.  If you don’t have the trail at that point, ick.  The inner gorge is very steep, cliffy.   Trail is not that hard to follow… in daylight and good weather.
Lovely campsite where it first reaches the water.
It gets worse.  There’s perhaps a 2 mi. stretch with 300 downed trees, mostly small stepovers, not hard to follow but very slow.  This may be what hurt my dog, unless he tried to jump a log too high coming SSE down the ridge.  Sign me up for the trail work party.  One could take out half this stuff with a pruning saw.  I think this is the stuff that lamed my dog:
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.
Tr#749 9/5/12.  Blowdown near Little Fish Shelter.

Once into the Ross Lake NRA, joy (this is misallocation of resources:  a superhighway leads to a goat path).  4.6 fast miles to Lightning Ck campsite at Ross Lake, where I should have stopped with my (unbeknownst to me) hurt dog.  Dummy here played by the rules and pushed 3.6 mi. in the dark to the empty quadruple campsite at Devil’s Jct. Camp.  It's a rathole.
Note:  no bear facilities at these camps, but I did a good hang.

Day 6  9/6/12  Thu.  Evacuation.
Thanks to KarlK’s beta, I knew there was flowing water at 2 streams on the Devils Ridge Trail (4400 & 4800, I think) and in the basin W of Devils Dome.  Else, dry.  So I didn’t have to carry much water.
Al awoke somehow not-his-usual-happy-self.  To my shame, it took me 3 miles to recognize that he was not tired, not hot, but in pain.  No visible paw injury.  I feared back or knee injury.  No visible limping, just totally listless, an utterly different animal.  Reluctantly but with no choice, I aborted after about 3 miles near 4800 or 5000, with Jack and Crater now in view and the second half of a perfect trip just beginning.  Nothing like this had ever happened before in 9 years of hiking with corgis.

DOG PEOPLE:  see your vet and get some Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory) and maybe Tramadol (opiate narcotic) for this situation.  Rehearse emergency evacuation procedure.  If I’m right, you can NOT give Ibuprofen to dogs.  Dogs are very good at hiding pain.  Al kept going until he could go no further.  As usual, he made no sound at all.

Devils Dome Tr#752 9/6/12, Day 6.  Retreating to East Bank Trail.  Corgi Rescue Sling V.2.3.
Devils Dome Tr#752 9/6/12, Day 6.  Retreating to East Bank Trail.  Corgi Rescue Sling V.2.3.

The 2.1 Corgi Rescue Sling was made by tying the waist of my windbreaker with the drawstring, making a bag, and tying the sleeves together around my neck.  A small biner at the pack’s hoisting loop took the weight off my neck.
The 3.5 upgrade sling was made by folding my plastic tablecloth groundsheet lengthwise and tying the ends together -- like a Peruvian baby blanket.  Hooking the top through through the biner on my pack took the weight off my shoulders, and tying the sides to the shoulder straps kept it from pinching my neck.  Try putting sling behind one or both shoulders.  Worked surprisingly well, but note that my dog was not severely hurt and was not in apparent pain and only 24 lb.  He was holding his head up, looking around.  A severely injured dog could be very difficult.
Retreated to Devils Jct., refining the sling along the way.  Met 2 guys with a dog, doing my route.  Went to the boat camp, tried flagging a boat.  Bugs were an issue along the lake, but not at night.  Made excellent time on the absurdly smooth East Bank Trail to Roland Ck campsite, nice place, loud happy stream, hit both branches of the bear hang on the first throw, a fine hang.  Extra ration of grog.

Day 7  9/7/12  Fri.
East Bank Trail and Ruby Creek Trail back to car.  Smooth, fast trail.  Saw almost nobody.  At Ruby Arm, when Al heard the first truck (coming from above us, across the drowned valley, apparently out of the sky), he thought it was thunder, and panicked.  Shaking, disoriented, tried to run off.  Perhaps he was stung by a hornet, but I think it was the traffic noise.  We’d heard no machines for a week.   Near the car, I gave Al a few hundred yards of trial walking.  He kept briskly ahead of me, but with an occasional skip/hop/limp.  I feared a back (IVDD) or knee (CCL) ligament tear – a serious injury for humans or dogs.   A dog with a torn CCL will not necessarily limp obviously.  In the trailhead parking lot, I saw a man dragging a limp beagle on its side across the parking lot to his car by the leash and collar.  ?!?!?!   Got to the vet at 5:30.

9/13/12  Thu.
Diagnosis not as bad as I’d feared.  No obvious CCL rupture, possible cartilage damage, possible subluxating patella, possible L5-L6 disc compression (I’m so smart I can make it sound like I know what this means).  No pending $2k knee surgery or 6 month rehab.  Maybe not a traumatic injury, but just too hard a day.   But Al (6 years old) is out for the season, and we will be taking it very easy.  9/15/12, he seems to be doing fine.
BTW, when a dog blows its anterior cruciate ligament, ACL (cranial cruciate ligament, CCL, in dogs), it’s a serious injury and an expensive surgery, and the other knee often goes later, over 50% of the time.  Our breeder was emphatic about crating him and restricting movement to avoid exacerbating injury until we got a firm diagnosis.

NOTE:  He weighs 23.5 lb.  I’d have guessed 35.  For very heavy loads, consider rigging a tumpline, or slinging some of the load in front like this.  It balances the load on your back.
How to evacuate a small dog
How to evacuate a small dog

Read Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn for touching cameo appearances of a military working dog and his handler in combat in Vietnam.

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Some people have better things to do with their lives than walking the dog.   Some don't.
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Gwen
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PostThu Sep 13, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Wishing Al a speedy recovery.  Bring him by the Maple Leaf Grill some Tues-Thurs afternoon for luv and bacon.

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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wolffie
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PostThu Sep 13, 2012 11:37 pm 
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We walk by Maple Leaf Grill every day.

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Bedivere
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 5:44 am 
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Sorry to hear about Al!  Very glad you were able to evac him with relative ease.  If this happened to Jack I'd be in a real bind as he's 70 lbs and I don't think I could carry him very far.

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treeswarper
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 6:12 am 
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The Used Dog sends good wishes.

The Used Dog injured himself and has just finished a month of "rest".  I'm building him back up.  He is going on walks with me again.

Best wishes.

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Ringangleclaw
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 6:32 am 
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Corgi's are wonderful dogs.  I'm glad Al is going to be OK.  Lucky for you he is a rather small male, our Roy is 38 pounds of corgi hiking hell
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The Angry Hiker
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 7:45 am 
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Glad to hear your pooch will pull through, but I hope that asshat who was dragging his beagle across the parking lot gets a flesh-eating virus.
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ranger rock
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ranger rock
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 8:29 am 
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Wow what a trip.  The one time I had to evac my dog I just happened to have a jogging stroller with me, so the evac was pretty easy..
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Ingunn
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 8:38 am 
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Get well soon, Al!

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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 9:09 am 
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hope the pooch mends well. I had a shepard who blew out both knees on separate occasions. The knees where reconstructed with fishline and I swear after recouping he was stronger and faster.

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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 9:25 am 
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Hysson (in my avatar) sends Al a big WOOF, wishing good and speedy healing!

If Hysson were injured, I'd be in a bind because at 70 lbs. there's no way I could carry him.  I've experimented with a travois from my trekking poles and jacket; the only problem would be keeping him on it!

I do carry both Rimadyl and Tramadol as part of my first aid kit.  Note that the chewable Rimadyl has to be protected from both bears and the dog (my dog thinks it's candy!).

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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Eric
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 9:30 am 
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Glad to hear that Al made it out and is doing OK. Nice work on improvising that sling. That's a nice big loop that you put together there. I've had my eye on parts of that area after going out and back to Three Fools Peak this year and hoping to do Daemon (Devil's ridge area highpoint) next year from Chancellor via Anacortes Trail or perhaps via Holman Pass to Sky Pilot Pass.

Our 8 year old corgi Sammy weighs a fit 32 pounds for what it is worth. We have had persistent small problems with his legs which seem to be from running after balls rather than from walking/hiking. Rest helps but we have had difficulty with totally curing the problem. Took him to a surgeon in Kirkland and we had an MRI with no tears and all that. He does fine and can hike a dozen miles and all that. I can't help but think that part of it just may be the stress that is put on those small legs. It is really hard when they get hurt because the attitude/excitement is so strong that I think a corgi would keep going even if he had to hop on one leg.
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 9:55 am 
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Our breeder just warned me that our older 9 y.o. is at the age where geriatric changes begin, and to start taking it easier.  Already have. 
It does help to keep their weight down.    32 sounds heavy to me.  Gwynn is 9 yo 21 lbs, Al 6 yo 23 or 24 lbs.  Even if they are obese, they will tell St. Peter on Judgement Day that you starved them their entire lives, so you might as well starve them.  A neighbor's corgi dropped a coupla pounds, and looks much healthier;  before, I'd just thought he was "big-boned", but he was overweight.  Don't ask them to carry anything.
Glucosamine with MSM is allegedly helpful.
This is my first indication that a corgi is not indestructible.

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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 11:26 am 
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wolffie wrote:
Dogs are very good at hiding pain.  Al kept going until he could go no further.  As usual, he made no sound at all.

That's very true. I've similar experiences with my doodles: they'll go until they can no more, and that can be misleading: hard to tell normal fatigue from that extra wallop of fatigue the morning after. I've done it, too, myself, thinking that I know what I'm doing and why /??/: the dog just follows. I wonder if heat and the water situation played a part. If there's no obvious injury Al will probably recover faster than you think but it's a painful lesson for US.

Good luck both,
tdd
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PostFri Sep 14, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Heat & water are critical for dogs, who cannot sweat, but weather here was milder than much he's been in.  The heat wave had not yet started, previous days wonderfully mild.  I'd been careful about watering, and I put on his wet Chillybuddy dog-cooling vest as we approached timberline.  Dogs do get heat stroke, which can make them sick for days, and his back is black.
On hot sunny days, they love a Pupsicle -- being covered in mountain snow.
He seems normal now, but he'll be getting a long rest.
I'll post some pics of the blowdown later.
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