things I learnt today

  1. Loki is very good at recalls
  2. Things Loki can recall off: birds, rabbits, foxes, eating poo.
  3. Things Loki finds difficult to recall off of: the bush.


Took the dogs for a little walk this morning and found a new little free-running bit (helpful, since we’re moving in 2 weeks). It was very nice and grassy. Lu and Mal were both on lead with me (Mal has been taking Loki on naughty little adventures so he’s lost his off-lead privileges for a little while) and Loki was off. Generally he runs fairly far ahead but I can still see him and he stops to alert me/show me if there’s something interesting ahead. When we were heading back (via the main track) a fox ran across the track and Loki started trundling toward it (and by trundle, I mean he was running but it wasn’t a Lu-style hunting sprint, more of a “hey, what was that!?” kind of curiosity. I casually called him and he turned right away and came. Then, not 10 seconds later, a rabbit ran across the path up ahead and he saw it and his response was to TURN AROUND to come back to me!!! Woah.

And Lu handled all that pretty well, too…

But… when we got off the track and into the bush, he was gone.

Gone gone gone.

Off the hill and far away.

Which made Lu all angry cos obviously he was going to go hunt ALL THE THINGS without her and made Mal all squeaky because HE wanted to be running somewhere too and made me all angry because WTF, where did my puppy go?

So we did a couple of recalls – he was very far away but came quickly, but as soon as I said “OK!” he was off again. Down the hill, far away.

So I said ‘stuff you!’ turned the two big dogs around and marched up the hill back to the track. Eventually he came.

Looks like he and I will be taking some one-on-one adventures off trail into the bush, practising lots of FUN recalls (it’s hard to be really fun and engaging with Mal on my belt and Lu’s lead in my hand attached to her halti which I can’t pull around because she hates it), and me doing lots of hiding, turning around and going the other way, etc. I don’t mind a degree of independence but WOAH, he was completely off this morning.


Well, look…

The little info sheet from the vet said Lu could run around 3 days (!!!) after her surgery. That seemed absurd and I waited until 6 days. Then Lu and Loki were trying to play tug through the baby-gate and getting all desperate to wrestle and chase each other so we threw in the towel and went to find some snow close to home. There’s been SO MUCH around lately, it’s amazing to see it on the hills across the way and we got into it so low yesterday (800m). It’s very neat.

And as always the dogs had the best time. We found a little side track and came across a PRISTINE clearing which they promptly destroyed by romping through it.



(title TM Penny Spencer)


Bushwalking with dogs: Narbethong Pine Plantation

This is basically what the whole walk looked like, including Lu being off in the bushes.


So we love taking our dogs bushwalking all around Victoria, but I always find it challenging to find places to take them! So I’ll document our walks here and then if people are searching for places to go, hopefully this will help.

Where: Pine plantation outside Narbethong – along Andersons Creek Road.

Difficulty/fitness required: 3/10 depending on mud-levels.

Hilliness: Pretty much flat.

Leech-factor: Nah

Animal/Wildlife factor: Medium-high: deer!!! Who would have thought there would be deer in a bloody pine plantation.

Interesting bits? Not really. Muddy dirt bike tracks and too-closed, too-dark pine forest.

Map: Yes. Can’t remember what it is right now. Rooftops Toolangi/Black Range map, I think.


So, we love pine forests. I’ll write up a report on walking up near Macedon at some point in the future. I love pine forests because they (generally) make nice, easy, open places for off-trail walking, there’s never any animals in them because Kangaroos don’t eat pine needles and neither do rabbits, sometimes dirt bikes make nice trails for the dogs to run really fast on, and they’re quiet and still. I like them.

The pine forest up at Narbethong? Not so much. We’d seen deer crossing the road up there once before so knew they were around but I figured they were just wandering into a paddock but wouldn’t bother with the forest. Why would they? Do they eat toadstools and pine needles?

Apparently they do. I found one big muddy puddle where you could smell the deer. Lu took off at one point (with Mal as well, so they must have seen something because other wise he doesn’t bother) and took a while to come back, so there was certainly wildlife around. Which maybe isn’t an issue for people reading, but if that doesn’t deter you then the lack of anything nice to look at should. You can’t get through the forest- it’s too dense and there’s too many blackberries. The trail we did last time was just super muddy and looked gross, and I washed the dogs yesterday so we weren’t going there. I found a different trail that seemed disused by dirt bikes so we took that but it was still just a clay trail through dense forest with lots of toadstools I had to stop Loki eating, ending in a bogan-y campsite. Boring.

So, all in all, I’d give this walk a 2/10. I didn’t even bother taking photos. If you want cool pine forests, head towards Macedon. I’ll write up a report about that when I have another minute.