Good DogIt was three years ago this past weekend that I first met Tiki. I wanted to adopt a dog from the local shelter. My new dog had to be athletic so we could run and mountain bike together, smart, and want to go everywhere I went. It’s a hard decision to make; there were so many dogs, all of them needing loving homes.

When I saw him, he was rolling on his back. I could hear him saying “pick me, pick me!” It was love at first sight. We went for a walk together and I found out he understood “sit”, “shake” & “down”. We went into the outdoor pen – he could run, fast! Quickly, I filled out the adoption papers. Tiki was getting a new home.

The first few days, we had lots to learn about each other. Before we went home, I took Tiki to get a bath at a local dog wash. I didn’t know he was terrified of spraying water. He cowered in the tub. I soon found out he was afraid of sprinklers and spray bottles.

Tiki ran away within the first hour at the house. The gate had been left open and he was gone. He didn’t know his new name, so he wouldn’t come back. A few dog cookies later, I’d coaxed him back into the house. I remembered that the volunteers in the shelter said he had been found running loose in Madras. Sadly, I had to keep him leashed all the time.

Our first mountain bike ride went well, until he ran away. Apparently Tiki liked to chase deer, which caused sudden dog deafness. I waited for 20 minutes and finally, he came back.

The first time we drove to the local dog park, Tiki threw up in the car on the way home. In fact, he got car sick everytime we went in the car for the first year. This was not the dog I wanted – but what could I do?

I’ve put in countless hours, trying to teach Tiki that he can be off leash and have fun. I think the turning point came when the Ruff Wear pack did a hike on the River Trail last October.  Tiki was running with some other dogs and stayed with our group during the entire hike.  Now we go trail running on the river trail at least once a week. We go mountain biking until the summer heat kicks in. Saturday we went kayaking in the river and Sunday, we went on a road trip. We’ve been snowshoeing, hiking and backpacking in the Cascades. It was a rocky start, but I have the best friend a girl could ever have!

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