Thursday, February 22, 2007

Good Vibes for Targhee

Targhee is our good friends Rick & Joanne's incomparable 11 year old Golden Retriever and he could use some positive vibes sent his way. Reading Rick's email yesterday about Targhee's sudden decline left me weeping at my desk in a big sappy heap and I am getting a lump in my throat while writing this.

I love Targhee the wonder dog like he is my own and have shared as many hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing adventures with Targhee as almost anyone else, human or dog. This is a cycling blog, so I would like to share a quick story of my fondest Targhee memory:

Several sumers ago, four of us, and Targhee, went for an after-work mtn bike ride in the Big Holes. The days were still long so we had plenty of time to get a good ride in even though we started at 6:30pm. When I pulled into Rick & Joanne's driveway to meet them Targhee greeted me with his trademark "bounce". He would do the "bounce" in anticipation of any fun adventure and his front paws would rise 6" off the ground repeatedly as he playfully barked as if to say "let's go!". We were having a great ride and had completed 2/3rds of the planned ride when Rick suggested we try a new piece of trail that he was "pretty sure" would loop around and wind up back at the cars. At the time I was still learning the trail network so I was at the mercy of the group but was happy to explore a new route. The trail quickly turned into a primitive, overgrown, muddy, uphill hike-a-bike with creek crossings seemingly every 25 yards which was perfectly fine with Targhee. Targhee was also known for his love of creeks and his technique of laying down in the creek facing the current so he could drink while cooling off.

The four of us grunted and pushed our way up this bitch of a hill knowing that the payoff had to be a huge downhill back to the cars. When we finally reached the top our internal daylight calculators told us we would barely make it back with enough daylight. We had no lights. Off we go downhill with Targhee in his normal position right behind the leader. We hadn't gone 1/4 mile when I hear Rick's brother Mark yelling obscenities from the rear of the pack. Mark's rear was flat and it was very quickly getting dark. The group stopped and I changed Mark's flat as fast I could but the darkness came too fast. With no lights we had now had to push our bikes out in the dark.

We were on a technical trail, in dense forest, on a moonless night, and we couldn't see our hands in front of our faces. There was nervous chatter in the group as we inched our way along in the blackness but we could always hear the jingle of Targhee's collar ahead and that seemed to help. Rick would occasionally say "Targheee, find the trail" and off he would go, only to stop and wait for us to catch up. For the next couple of hours we blindly followed Targhee's jingling collar on what we hoped was the right trail and arrived back at the cars at 11:30pm. Targhee had negotiated trail intersections that are hard to see in the daylight and saved our unprepared sorry asses that night. Without Targhee we would have been reduced to crawling out on our hands and knees in an effort to stay on the trail in the blackness, or worse.

Please send some positive vibes Targhee's way in hopes that he can live comfortably, and happily, a while longer.

Edit 2/28: Targhee is a fighter and is not going to give up. He doing better!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Vibes good vibes good vibes!!! How is he?