Dog’Gone It

I have SHAD.  Have you heard of it? There really isn’t a pill for it or at least I haven’t seen one advertised yet. It’s a disease I’ve lived with for awhile now and I just have to learn to accept it. It stands for Summer Hiking Anxiety Disorder and it affects at least 1:200 people in New England every year.

Ok so that really isn’t a thing. But regardless I still think I have it. Summer in New England is so short and beautiful sunny days are so far and few that I get so much anxiety every Saturday and Sunday that I have to go hiking that I often wonder if I really want to go hiking or if I just think I want to hike. I think it’s the former. I love the feeling of being on the mountain and the beauty and the everything in between. I love getting to the top and taking a nap. I even love going down the mountain and thinking to myself “I hate this. Why do I have to come down. Isn’t there a tram or something?” I love taking photos. I love watching Fred thrive going up and down and chasing squirrels and jumping over rocks.

I get so anxious during the week when it is sunny out and I am working and then it rains on the weekend. I feel like I won’t be able to enjoy the summer and it will pass so quickly and winter will be here. In therapy the other day she asked what my favorite season was and I didn’t really have an answer. I said “I guess it should be summer but I get so worried in the summer because winter is coming.

Anyway, this post isn’t really supposed to be about hiking.  It’s about Fred. K and I were hiking on Saturday and Fred was off leash. Why? Because I have no desire to train him while going up a mountain. If anything, I should be the one on a leash and he dragging me. Hiking is where he is at his best. He behaves. He comes when called. (Most of the time.)

I am really supposed to be training him 24/7 so of course he was behaving the entire time on the mountain. So much so that two people said he was so calm.  What?? Calm? Sure. I’ll take that.

Then a couple with a huge dog on a leash were coming down and Fred would not listen. He would not come. Instead he ran up to the 200 pound dog and jumped on him to attack. And of course that dog was in our training class. What are the odds? The girl says “Don’t worry I won’t tell Chris.” Crap.

Anyway I got one hike down for the summer. I have about 2-3 more to go before my SHA goes away and my NSMD* anxiety comes back. I’ll keep you posted.

*Need to see a movie disorder.


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