Take a Hike with a Furry Friend

Park ranger with shelter dog on David Mountains hike.

Park ranger with shelter dog on David Mountains hike.

 

This is Passport to Texas

Thursday mornings, visitors to Davis Mountains State Park in west Texas meet for guided hikes—with homeless dogs.

We usually have more people than dogs. We usually give one dog to a family and then a third of the way through the walk we’ll stop and then we’ll switch the dogs to different people so everybody has a chance.

Ranger, Tara Poloskey, says participants hike with shelter dogs from the Grand Companions Humane Society in Fort Davis.

The visitors need dogs to walk when they leave their dogs at home and they’re missing their dogs. And, also, the dogs at the shelter don’t get a lot of socialization and maybe they’ve had some pretty hard histories. They need to get out and get socialized and learn how to walk on leashes to make them more adoptable.

The program is popular with park visitors.

Everyone is happy to see the dogs; visitors know they’re helping the dogs. And, I do talk some about the park while we’re walking, so it’s a good mix of interpretation and dog walks. And, for the dogs, it’s a wonderful way for them to socialize and get used to different people.

Hikers sometimes even adopt the dogs.

In fact, today we had two. A total of five, actually, over the course of a year, but today we had two.

Find details about hikes with homeless dogs in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Leave a Reply