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photo 2This past weekend, I took Zara hiking for the first time. I had wanted to go the weekend before but it has been so cold here that being outside for an extended period of time just wasn’t possible. This past weekend, the weather finally warmed up to 50+ degrees, which was perfect for hiking.

We went to Turkey Run Park, which is off the George Washington Parkway in Arlington. I’ve been hiking there once before in the fall and was surprised how deserted it was. It’s a beautiful park that overlooks the Potomac River and only about 20 minutes from my house. Unfortunately, Chris couldn’t come with us because he had to work, but Zara and I had a good time nonetheless.

I used our Ruffwear Flat Out running leash for the first time. It’s a sturdy leash that clips around your waist so that you can walk or run your dog hands-free. I’m really glad I brought it, because the terrain was a little uneven at times and it was nice to have my hands available to grab onto nearby trees or steady myself. It also didn’t allow Zara to pull very much, because she was pulling against the weight of my whole body instead of just my arm.


Stylish hiking puppy.

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Zara sees the (frozen) Potomac for the first time.

Zara also wore her new Tufflex collar from Gun Dog Supply and her rugby sweater. She was quite the fashionable hiker! I’m glad I brought the sweater because even though the weather was warmer than it had been, she was a little cold even with it on. She didn’t mind wearing it.

We hiked on the Valley Trail, which was pretty flat with a few ups and downs and several small bridges. It was a great trail except it was SUPER muddy in many places because of the melting snow. I didn’t anticipate this and wore my new-ish running shoes (oops). I tried to avoid the mud by stepping on the edges of the trail but my shoes still ended up very dirty. Zara was also not a fan of getting her paws muddy. I guess she’s living up to her name, which according to, means “princess.”

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Zara was a little hesitant at times, and I think it was because it was her first time in the woods. But overall, she walked very well and didn’t try to pull too much. We hiked for about an hour and a half total. I would have gone further, but after a while, Zara seemed ready to turn around and on the way back, she had her nose to the ground, scenting her way back. I guess that is comforting to know, in case we had gotten lost!

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Puppy selfie after hiking.

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