On a balmy Fall morning, Jake, Molly, Roadie, and Walter took a hike on the Lost Dog Wash Trail in the scenic foothills of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. All four canines were formerly lost souls themselves before being adopted from rescue agencies. Jake, a handsome, muscular Terrier mix was adopted from the Arizona Humane Society. Molly was found running loose in a neighborhood, and when unclaimed, stayed with her finder. An active and quick-witted Australian cattle dog, Roadie found his new home through Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. And then, there’s goofy Walter, who was plucked from a euthanasia list by Iowa-based Heinz 57 Pet Rescue & Transport. Determined that they never be lost again, all four have all been trained by their various adopter families in behaviors that will keep them safe and welcome on local trails.
Desert trails are rife with doggie landmines in the form of critter encounters, prickly plants, rough terrain, and extreme temperatures. That’s why it pays to take a few tips from these savvy canines and their human companions. Roadie loves to run, but when out hiking, he is kept securely on leash and his person carries plenty of poop bags for his frequent rest stops. Off-leash hiking is okay on some public lands, but leash laws and dog waste rules are strictly enforced in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Walter loves water and sucked up quite a lot on this hilly four mile hike to the Taliesin Overlook.
That’s why his hiking partner packs plenty of water along with a collapsible bowl. Dogs need to lap and get their entire mouths drenched in order to stay properly cooled and hydrated. Because Molly is interested in strange, fast moving objects, her person stays extra alert on popular trails like this one, and steps aside when other dogs or bikes approach. We didn’t see any on this hike, but the same plan applies for horse encounters. All trail users, especially those with dogs, should step off the trail and mind the instructions of the rider. And never follow horses too closely, because they can kick. Finally, Jake is all about preparedness and knowing his limits. He carries his own pack with water and snacks and wears a comfortable harness.
Although a medical condition dictates how far Jake can trek, he is a model of canine good citizenship and an inspiration to all. Now that we’re in prime hiking season, it’s more important than ever to follow these simple tips to help keep your pets safe, and to respect other trail users.
2.6 miles one way
(2 miles to the Taliesin Overlook)
1753 – 2092’
Lost Dog Wash Trailhead
12601 N 124th St Scottsdale