PCT 2017 – Warner Springs with Jake the Service DogMay 15, 2022
It is often difficult to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with a service dog. I have taken both my first service dog Ray and his replacement Jake on sections of the PCT. Fortunately, in 2017, we were having an historic snowpack in the Sierras, so there was plenty of water in the Southern California desert section. However, in late May and early June, there was sweltering heat, often into the three digits. After cameling up at the Warner Springs Fire Department, Jake and I begin our northward journey across an open field. And, yes, there were cows; something Jake had never seen before in his short 7 month life as a Siberian Husky.
If you plan to hike with a Siberian Husky service dog, I recommend getting a puppy that was born locally and acclimated to the environment you plan to hike in. Jake was raised in Acton, CA and lives in Glendale, CA. He trains regularly in hot conditions on local California trails. Also, learn the limitations of your Siberian Husky’s tolerance for heat. Take frequent breaks in the shade and stay hydrated with electrolyte supplements for both you and your dog. Although a disabled hiker and his or her service dog work as a team, the service dog’s well-being takes priority in remote wilderness.
– Des Manttari, Editor-in-Chief, Phoenix Genesis
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