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Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault


Postby dogplodder » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:46 pm

Route description: Carn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Bheag, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: A' Bhuidheanach Bheag, Beinn Udlamain, Carn na Caim, Sgairneach Mhor

Date walked: 10/06/2006

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Our dog Jack was shipped over from Ireland in a crate and taken in by Labrador Rescue in the NW of England. He was a lovable hooligan - incapable of walking on a lead, with unreliable recall and a strong hunting instinct wired into his hard drive. There were times I doubted I could take him on the hill without giving myself a dislocated shoulder but after much training the day finally came I decided to try him on his first Munros.

We parked in the layby on the west side of the busy A9, a little south of the turning for Dalwhinnie, and carefully crossed over to the east side to find a gate which opens on to a track heading north at first and then climbing east. At the beginning of the track there was a sign asking that dogs be kept on lead because of nesting birds so I kept both dogs on the lead all the way up the track and past the quarry.

It was a bright sunny day but the wind was strong as we made our way north to find the modest cairn of Carn na Caim.

Sporting odd hair style at summit of Carn na Caim
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Jack intoxicated with the smells of the hill
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Outline of Meall Chuaich behind
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We retraced our steps over the plateau, heading south towards A' Bhuidheanach Bheag. I think it was when we stopped for a bite to eat I let Jack off the lead to go and have a drink. Probably my arm was aching from his constant pulling, but I shouldn't have done it. Tess was another matter as she always stays close but Jack was a loose cannon and I don't know what I was thinking of. And that was apart from the small matter of the sign asking for dogs to be kept on leads. :oops:

Dogs at watering hole
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At some point after this Jack disappeared. There were mountain hares about and I suspect he was off after one but we didn't see him go. I blew the whistle but no response. After a few minutes I was worried. If he lost track of us he would probably go down towards the A9 and the traffic is so heavy and fast I wouldn't give much for his chances there. We were still a little short of the second Munro but had no alternative than to turn and head back the way we'd come, blasting on the whistle and calling as we went. I was annoyed with myself for letting this happen and frankly scared by the thought of what could happen.

It was a full 20 minutes (but which felt longer) before we saw the contrite lad returning with head down and that apologetic tail wag he does when he knows he's done wrong. I was so relieved to see him and he was back on the lead for the rest of the day. So we about turned and headed south again to find the second summit cairn with its ugly ironwork which was useful only because I could tie the dogs' leads to it.

Summit of A' Bhuidheanach Bheag
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I'm sorry Mum!
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Jack having a kip after his escapade
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Two weeks later my son Doug was coming up from Glasgow with a bunch of international students. A hill walk was part of their weekend programme so we chose Drumochter as not too taxing for first timers. We parked in the layby on the west side of the A9, negotiated the railway track and headed up the track towards Coire Dhomhain. This time I wasn't taking any chances with the dogs and they stayed on lead all day - with plenty of volunteers keen to hold them!

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Andrew with the Shelties
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The Chinese conquer Udlamain!
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Whole group at summit
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Beinn Udlamain means 'gloomy hill' and here it is living up to its name
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By the time we reached the second Munro, the weather had closed in and it was raining. When non hill walking friends saw the pic of Moira and me at the summit cairn they said it proves we're mad and encapsulates why they don't do it! :lol:

Sgairneach Mhor summit
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Despite the rain we had a great day out and went for post walk food to an eating place in Dalwhinnie which was huge and empty so we took over the whole place and brought a big smile to the proprieter's face! :D

These photos are a mix of Moira's and mine so thanks to her.
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:34 pm

Brilliant Kathleen. Yet another report packed full of adventure and misadventure!!!! :clap: :clap:

Loved all the photos but the summit pic with the students and the dogs is my fave :D :D
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pollyh33
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby dogplodder » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:50 pm

RTC wrote:I have to say it. - Jack looks anything but contrite in the photos. Lovely pictures of lovely dogs.


But contrite look only lasts 2 minutes. :lol:
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby dogplodder » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:52 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Brilliant Kathleen. Yet another report packed full of adventure and misadventure!!!! :clap: :clap:

Loved all the photos but the summit pic with the students and the dogs is my fave :D :D


Yes, mine too. They were such lovely people - probably all back in China now. :D
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby mrssanta » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:00 pm

I wonder how many people owe their first munro experience to you and your dogs - there must be hundreds!
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby tweedledog » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:33 pm

My, I bet it was a VERY long 20 minutes. Nightmare! Glad it worked out OK. Just reminds me to continue to always keep The Whippet on the lead. He runs much too fast for me :)
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby dogplodder » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:45 pm

mrssanta wrote:I wonder how many people owe their first munro experience to you and your dogs - there must be hundreds!


I wonder for how many it was their last as well? :wink:
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby ballarat » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:04 pm

:D hes a braw looking hound.i bet hes enjoying his new life :D big well dones to you :clap: :clap:
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby dogplodder » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:54 pm

tweedledog wrote:My, I bet it was a VERY long 20 minutes. Nightmare! Glad it worked out OK. Just reminds me to continue to always keep The Whippet on the lead. He runs much too fast for me :)


I felt pretty sick to be honest. :(
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Re: Nearly lost my dog on his first Munro & it was my fault

Postby dogplodder » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:30 pm

ballarat wrote::D hes a braw looking hound.i bet hes enjoying his new life :D big well dones to you :clap: :clap:


Thanks ballarat. He's a couthy character - calmed down a lot since we got him and reliable on the hill now but age creeping up as it does on us all. :wink:
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