We’re back from our short vacation in Switzerland. All in all, Ayla did great and we were really happy that she was so relaxed during the trip. She slept during a major portion of the ride home and has slept a lot the few hours we have been home which we expected after all the excitement of the past few days. She did quite a bit of hiking with us and had a lot of stress going in and out of the truck throughout the day as we tried out a few climbing locations. But thankfully on Sunday we found a few rocks all to ourselves so we could climb in peace with no other dogs or people around to get her riled up. And considering we were eating out mornings and evenings where she had to wait by the table for us, several days in a row, she was incredibly patient. But we’re sure she’s happy to have a nice green path to walk along again during our walks instead of a cobblestone path through the castle ruins.

We’re going to put together a little outdoor backpack for her in the coming months. She’s coming up on 18 months now and will be able to then carry a few things for herself like her water bowl, a toy and some of her own water as well. We also plan to get her some hiking booties which will help protect her paws and a first aid kit. Since we plan to go climbing outdoors with her a lot more in the future, we’ll need things around for her in case of a snake bite or some other incident. There aren’t too many snakes in Germany but there were many where we were climbing the last few days and you can never be too prepared.

Ayla is quite the mountain dog, though. She had no problem at all with any of the hiking paths although it was not always easy terrain. She seems to be part mountain goat and you can really see that this breed was developed from Great Pyrenees dogs. She definitely seemed to be having more fun going up the paths than us.

Today when we left, we got to see the little Chihuahua again that belongs to the apartment owners. One of the owners informed us that the mother of that dog had actually just had another litter of puppies so if we wanted one, we just needed to ask. As interesting as that might look, us traveling around with a Newf and Chihuahua the size of our cats, and as cute as that little dog was…it’s definitely not in the cards.

One thing we will keep in mind if/when we get another dog down the road, is to create as many new experiences for the pup as possible, as early as possible. We introduced Ayla to crossing logs and open-backed stairs, among many other things, but we forgot about things like heights and metal grate walkways. We actually went back yesterday to give one climbing spot another try which is accessible only by crossing a metal grate bridge which is strung rather high over a river. It’s a suspension bridge so it also moves a bit when you walk on it or if there’s wind. We convinced Ayla that it was safe enough to put her front two feet on, but she wouldn’t try the back feet. We can certainly understand the trouble though. When you look down, you don’t see the grate very well and it must have seemed like she was walking on thin air.