Piper is not what you would call a social dog. She has a strictly defined comfort zone and most things outside of it are greeted with a tucked tail and a nervous whine. The apple doesn’t fall far, I guess.
But, since she is now living with us full time after the Maggie-Piper altercation that left them both scarred, we’ve made it a goal to socialize her more. Bomb proof her, if you will.
After a few short weeks, she can get through a walk around our busy neighborhood without cowering at everyone we pass and even greets new people with a hint of curiosity and some wags. So, we figured the next step in our immersion therapy was to get her out of the noisy city and into the woods. And what better way to get into nature than with a day hike? On a tip from a good friend, we headed up to Cold Stebben’s Canyon near Lake Berryessa to see if we could make a mountaineer out of Piper.
While the hike only lasted about three miles (along the only section of trail that doesn’t allow dogs because we don’t know how to read maps), the outdoors did what it does best: soothed our souls. All three of us felt the affects of the secluded forest trail and as we watched Piper gain confidence and explore the wonderful world of sounds and smells, our hearts lightened and our brains relaxed. Our little emotionally disturbed piglet was making progress, and we couldn’t be more proud.