This article first appeared in print in the September, 2018 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
By Coconut Borlick, pawing in for usual Spokin’ Word columnist Bryce Borlick
This column is a bit misguided if you ask me. In every issue my human companion Bryce writes about these two-wheel contraptions, which exist only to help humans keep up with the real trail stars — us dogs. So I, Coconut, have taken over the alpha spot and herded two canine athletes to talk about things. I know, not much of a plan but I’m dog and I live in the moment.
Coconut: Thanks for joining me. Sit. Speak.
Gringa: Humans call me Gringa and I’ve been through seven summer shedding cycles. As a pup, I found myself on the wrong side of the law and got bailed out by Joe Lammers. We’ve been partners ever since.
Koda: I respond to the name Koda, or Mr. Koda. Revelstoke born and raised, I come from a Sheppard/Lab/Husky lineage. I’ve spent most of my eight human years on earth hanging out with Miranda Murphy. She’s great, has access to quite a bit of food.
Coconut. What’s your job?
Koda: I patrol my yard and provide 24-hour security for Miranda. I also train her in trail running. She has won ultramarathons under my guidance but still rarely stops during a race to investigate interesting smells so there’s still room for improvement.
Gringa: I’m a trail runner. Am I professional? I have a roof over my head and food in my bowl every day so I guess I am. I let Joe handle details like finances. I keep that damn vacuum in line though.
Coconut: What kind of training do you do?
Koda: I take Miranda for runs on trails. Unfortunately she’s terrible at running on all fours and has to rely on her bike pretty often to keep up. I also take her sledding and backcountry skiing in the winter but as I get older my joints ache in the cold. Humans can throw on a puffy jacket but by the time I put on a coat, it’s spring.
Gringa: I run trails with Joe at least a few times a week in the summer and in the winter I run powder and double him on my sled. And belly rubs — I think that‘s a key element to my fitness.
Coconut: Do you manage your diet carefully?
Gringa: I’m on the Acana diet, with dog treat supplements from Zuke’s. When I was younger I liked horse poop but I can’t eat like I used to. Still love to roll in it though.
Koda: I accept treats from humans just to be polite but I much prefer dog food. White rice and carrots are the exceptions. I think if I a human ever tried a bowl of good kibble they’d never go back to their own food.
Coconut: Do you play games?
Gringa: I’m a true dog — I’ll chase anything that moves. And sometimes I’ll get a good stick or Kong toy, something that Joe really wants, and I’ll get him to chase me. Joe‘s a good boy.
Koda: I’m not a fan of fetch. Miranda tells people that I have poor mouth-eye coordination — yes, Miranda, I can hear you, my hearing is frickin’ awesome.
Coconut: What’s a perfect day for you?
Koda: A day on the trails with Miranda is a day well spent. Sometimes when she leaves, I feel like she’s never coming back. I’d also love another trip to the States where a dog can be served treats and water at restaurants. Haute cuisine. And no cats!
Gringa: Lots of running and some stinky mud to lay in. And I’d love to play with a bear again — I found one with two cubs one day and we chased each other for a while until she ran up a tree. Joe seemed worried, he was all “Gringaaaa, nooooo!”