In March, our Siberian Husky, Kora, tore her CCL in her rear left leg. This is the dog equivalent of a human ACL ligament. Thanks to the excellent work of Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle, Kora’s TPLO surgery was a success. But that was just the beginning of her recovery journey.
As her medication wore off, Kora got restless. For a successful recovery, she needed to be kept in a small space, she wasn’t allowed to climb stairs, and she was limited to the amount of walking time. This was hard for us; especially since Kora is used to her routine. Our “mommy and me” walks every morning around the neighborhood are just as important to Kora as they are to me.
That is why we decided to invest in the stroller. Once the stroller arrived, we resumed our 20-40 minute morning walks, and Kora could join us for longer treks outside the house. She would start out walking, progressing from 5 to 10 to 15 minutes and so on. Once she reached her maximum walking time, she went into the stroller, so I could finish the walk.
Kora became much happier when she could leave her room and explore the world around her, even if it was just with her nose. The improvement of her mood made her recovery easier on all of us. With the ability to go on longer walks, I searched for some ADA accessible hikes to get us both into the woods.
Dogs on Wheels
Our first hike was Padilla Bay near Mt Vernon in April. The trail is a wide, gravel path that winds along the river, through farmland with a beautiful view of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. At this point, her maximum walking time was only 15 minutes. While Kora did protest the ride in the stroller, I think she enjoyed the ride in her stroller more than she would ever admit. I recommend starting at the trailhead location that the Washington Trails Association (wta.org) designates. It begins in the trees, closer to the water than the 2nd trailhead.
A Flower Hike
In May, we checked out the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. The Rhododendrons were in full bloom. The paved trails were worked well when Kora was in her stroller. While she was walking for the first 40 minutes, we took some of the dirt trails and pushed the empty stroller. We would have run into a few issues had she been in the stroller when the path narrowed or when there were a few steps.
A Beach Hike
We decided to take a trip to the coast while my Mom visiting. We found the Westport Light Trail hike on the beach. At this point, Kora was able to walk for 50 minutes. We decided to begin our walk on the sand so we could play on the beach. It was a beautiful breezy day, and Kora enjoyed playing in the waves. We got to the end of the beach in time for a break, and then it was Kora’s turn to ride in the stroller. We walked up the sand dune trail to the second parking lot to access the paved trail. This trail has scenic lookouts and strategically placed benches.
Hike on the Puget Sound
The Chambers Bay Loop, a paved trail around the golf course, was a lovely hike. We started our trek heading West on the upper trail. Kora walked for 55 minutes. By that time, we had reached a pleasant resting place on the bridge to the beach. From there, Kora was in the stroller, and we walked through the golf course area “at our own risk.” The end of this part of the trail looked out over the Puget Sound. We took a lunch break on the bench before heading up the trail. It was quite the workout walking up the steep hills with Kora in the stroller. However, I was thankful we went this direction since the hilly part of the walk was through the trees. The shade made the climb a little easier.
Into the Woods on the Train Trial
Iron Goat Trail follows part of the original supply train route through the Cascade Mountains. It is a beautiful, shaded trail in the woods with viewpoints of the surrounding mountains, little history lessons of the railroad, and preserved sections of the old railroad tunnels. With the tunnel and viewpoint breaks in between, Kora walked for 1 hour. We hiked another 30 minutes to get to the other trailhead with the train car, then we turned around and enjoyed the trek back to the car.