Dog trains man

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kenzo & Viva On Walkabout

We've been Walkabout. That means, according to the alternative - of the alternative - definition: "a short period of wandering bush life engaged in by an Australian Aborigine Hovawart as an occasional interruption of regular work".

Our first adventure together. A long way up, all the way above the tree-line, on the tundra of the "Hallingskarvet" National Park in Norway - this link has a 360o panoramic view of the "Hallingskarvet" area.

From the tundra, seeing those white patches of snow on the moutain ridges, it was hard to resist knowing Kenzo's birthday was coming up, to get even higher and get a taste of winter wonderland. After all, we are on a Hovawart Walkabout and it was Mr. K's B-day.

So we did. And in the midst of summer, Kenzo re-united with his best-friend-forever. They cuddled and hugged like there was no tomorrow.

Trying to reassure him this was what they called eternal snow so he shouldn't worry it to melt any time soon, possibly only made it worse. Kenzo was not leaving.

I think it was only the thought of missing out on actually swimming in water that was not frozen, that lured Kenzo down towards the valley with us again.

Crossing those wide plains with sights that seemed to never end, I couldn't have wished for better partners. Although I was equipped with a map and a compass, as a regular human with a goal, Kenzo & Viva showed me it was much easier to just let go and follow their lead.

They were home. They tracked the trails. They spidered for prey and what was alive around us. They found the fresh water creeks where we could enjoy a break. The masters of the walkabout. I would only need the map and compass to find our way back to the cabin - glad to have at least some of the responsibility delegated back to me again.

They didn't found a lot of obstacles on their way. Where I needed help of improvised bridges to cross the wildest of waters, they just swam across.

Kenzo surprised me even more when he guided the way through a rocky river bed, jumping from stone to stone. Was this the same dog for which the obstacle course in our tracking class was his weak spot?

I wondered if I had created Walkabout monsters? Would it ever be possible to return to the dullness of living under a roof again?

They balanced those two life-styles very well. Every day, like real Sofawarts, they crashed on the sofa of our rented cabin. Renewing their energy for the new day to come.

We had a tent with us, but I think it was good for us to rent a cabin where we could spent the night, so we they could relax and regain energy.

Viva did so well. She never got issues with the spondylosis in her back, and she could keep up with our pace easily.

I kept Viva on a 3 meter leash at all times - dogs must be leashed in Norway during summer anyway - to prevent her from running or jumping. She did excellent. Nothing could keep her down and she walked for miles and as long as there were hours in a day.

I just made one terrible mistake that will always be remembered and never forgiven. Soon after we came home they got a good ... bath.

Not the ending they expected. A whole week of rolling in fox-poo and other fine odors, going literally down the drain. Thanks dad. We demand another Walkabout.


  1. I think that a bath is a small price to pay after that fun week of hiking in Norway. Thanks for sharing your pictures, the scenery in Norway is beautiful!!

  2. Hahaha! I love the photo of them after the bath. They both look so unimpressed. But I am sure they had an amazing time that was well worth the price.

    The mountains of Norway look much different from the mountains I am used to seeing in Canada. The valley Kenzo and Viva sprawled out in looks so beautiful and green. It looks like you could see forever.

  3. Nothing like a good walkabout! Ending it with a bath? Hmm .... LOL

  4. Glad you all enjoyed the Hovabout, er Walkabout. Looks like everyone came back refreshed.

    Admiring the landscape, it's easy to see why my Norwegian friends are so fit. My friend's dad in Lillehammer still skis to the post office at 86 years old.

  5. It's so much fun to see the dogs having a blast in the wilderness. And how much fun that Kenzo got to play in the snow on his birthday - quite the present for him! Of course, we humans have to ruin everything with the baths. I hope they've forgiven you. =)

  6. Beautiful dogs! I was also admiring their harnessess, can you tell me where you got them?

    1. Thanks Marjorie! I let them wear their tracking harnesses. It allows them to pull so it is great for hiking. The harnasses are from Kenjan Denmark. Great hand-made quality, with lots of leather. Kenjan also supplies the Danish police and military. Unfortunately the owner (and sole employee) just past away. It is unsure if and how the company will continue :(


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