Dog Lover’s Idaho with a Moment of Frustration, Brought to You by a Puppy

Box Canyon








Directions: Take I-84 to Exit #155 in Wendell and go west 3 miles to county road 1500 East. Turn left (follow the sign to Buhl). Follow this road about 5* miles to the signed parking lot on the right.


In Jon Katz book Katz on Dogs: A Commonsense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs it reads “…only about 3 to 5 percent of Americans train their dogs at all.”  Today, I understand why- IT’S HARD!

We went on this hike with friends and their sweet dog Jelly. Jelly is older, trained and can do well off leash. Butter is not there yet. She is still learning in all her environments. I understand she is only 6 months old, but it is still difficult when you are in the moment of frustration.

As soon as we started this hike Butter was very excited to see her friend, the people, the smells, nature and the water. For the first half mile she pulled non-stop. I asked my friends to keep moving. I recognize training does not stop and I needed to help Butter learn in this moment, not later! Thankfully, they kept going as Butter whined, pulled and did not listen. However, I stayed consistent… if she pulled, I stopped, waited for her to look at me, offered her a treat and we proceeded. She typically did not want the treat, so her reward was moving forward. I did this again, and again, and again….


I gave her commands and waited for her to follow. When she didn’t (many times) I would ask her again in a few minutes or just wait. Mostly I used patience and treats. But it was frustrating, tiring, upsetting, ridiculous and embarrassing. I am consistent, I work with her daily, I exercise her regularly, I socialize her often and I try my best to keep calm. Yes, she got yelled at today, well, talked at sternly. My point: dog training is hard! Sometimes it just plain stinks. But, be one of the 3-5% and keep trying, because someday it will be worth it and I will enjoy this hike.


***Update: I have been taking Butter on more hikes and we attempted Box Canyon again and she did well.

Now, to the experience with the pretty pictures that everyone else will have…perfect! If perfect is ever a true thing.

Playing in the water.

Box canyon has beautiful clear water, amazing lookout views and a perfect swimming hole. We went on a Sunday afternoon and there were people, but by no means was it crowded. No one was at the swimming hole at the same time and we spend about 20 minutes wading or dipping our feet.

So hot she would lay down.









When you arrive at the parking lot there are about 10 spots. You will need to have an Idaho Parks Pass or pay $5.00 to park. They have two trash cans, one by the parking lot and one by the viewpoint. The viewpoint also has two portable potty’s to use. After you pass these it is just trail and water, so make your stop now.

The trail is about 5 miles with a view point about a quarter mile from the parking lot. The viewpoint is easily accessed across farm ground and anybody can attend this short walk since it is accessed from a dirt road that is wide and flat. You can not drive this, so a person will need to be able to walk. A stroller could access this viewpoint.

After leaving the overlook you will take a path off the main road and go to the canyon where there will be a sign and then you will have a metal rope going down into the canyon along the trail. I would consider the hike in the canyon to be moderate. It is a trail with plenty of brush and you will need to walk single file. I could not have Butter next to me for much of the trail and you do not want to take a dog that pulls down this canyon (trust me!). I found it helpful that Butter understands the command “stay” or “wait” (when she was listening…) because it gets very steep at times and you will want to have your dog wait while you go down the rocks. You will need to climb down rocks and up rocks that are about to your waist (if you are my height… about 5″4′). There are a few points where you are jumping from one rock to another with mud and water underneath the rocks. Butter did have to jump up and down the rocks multiple times, but she only needed help once.

The best stick in the entire canyon!

The trail is not very wide and there are people, so make sure that you have control of your dog on or off leash. We did not meet other dogs, but we did meet kids and adults.


You will want good shoes, good hiking clothes and possibly some swim wear. It was hot enough that I dipped my legs in while Butter played and was happy to be slightly wet on my way back. I even refilled one of our empty water bottles to pour it on Butter for the hike back since it was hot. In fact, two waters, one for me and one for Butter did not feel like enough- bring plenty of water! I appreciated my snack I brought, so bring something to eat with good protein.

This trail has a lot of overgrown brush on the sides and some poison oak, so long pants are recommended.

One challenge for me was having the dog, my bag and going down the rocks. A backpack that is easy to carry and bringing enough supplies will be best. Don’t forget to bring your poop bags and leave the trail cleaner than you found it. Since there are no garbage cans at the swimming hole, bring an extra bag or two to collect your garbage and put your poop bag in to carry it out. I double bag when I carry poop for a while so I don’t have to smell it.













This hike was extra great because we both slept well once we got home! It was a good workout.

Despite our extreme training moments….

Butter gives it 4 paws up!

Butter only has 4 paws… so 4 paws is the best.

*The directions originally say about 3.2 miles to the signed parking lot, but it is closer to 5 miles. Keep driving and looking for the sign and you will find it.

Dog Lover’s Oregon

Multnomah Falls

The different hikes that you can do.

53000 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Scenic Loop Drive, Bridal Veil, OR 97010


Being from Oregon and traveling through the Columbia
River Gorge on a regular basis I have been very sad
to hear about the Eagle Creek fire. I am thankful we
recently visited Multnomah Falls and that Butter 
got to enjoy this great trail and its views, 
previous to this human made disaster. We would 
like to encourage every  parent to get their 
children (and their dogs) into the wilderness on 
hike's teaching future generations
to love and therefore, respect, nature.

Butter got to visit the highest water fall in the state of Oregon! She loved it, of course, because she got more pets than she has ever received before. Matt reported that at times she would sit and just wait for people to take turns petting her. He called her a “toll taker” with pets to pass. Such a sweet puppy she is!

We had to laugh once when attempting to pass people on this small bridge. Each day, many people stop to take pictures and you are shoulder to shoulder attempting to pass. Butter did great, but she licked peoples legs as she passed them! Oh my, so silly. I just wish I was watching their face and not her…

Look at that face. I got her at a funny moment, she was very happy during this trip.

Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s number one attraction, A.K.A., a VERY busy place. We ran into countless people and dogs, despite our early arrival. Although this is a paved trail, it is very uneven with steep drop off’s on the side that made it difficult to have a dog on the trail. We noticed that Butter preferred to be on the edge, possibly due to the softer ground, as she attempted to avoid the hard rocky surface. Even stopping for a water break was difficult at times due to the crowds.

Butter, enjoying the view of the falls.

However, Multnomah Falls is the number one attraction for a reason. It is beautiful and amazing. First, you come to a great look out just steps away from the lodge. You can then travel on to a bridge with a perfect view or climb one mile to the platform that looks down on the waterfall with views of the Columbia River Gorge. This climb is moderate due to the 11 switchbacks and steep climb, however it is paved. Butter made it the entire way, but a few of us stayed back after making it part way up. Staying back was not bad. We had a wonderful bench and partial view of the waterfall. If you are a serious hiker, there is a 6 mile trail to greater views of the Columbia River Gorge.

Whether you travel up to the top or not you are able to see a great view of the falls and enjoy the U.S. Forest Service interpretive center, gift shop, snack bar, restrooms and restaurant. Due to having Butter with us we brought our own food and did not go to the gift shop or restaurant. If you do visit the restaurant, make reservations previous to your visit. Do not animals in the car to eat at the restaurant, this would be a good time to leave your dog at home.

I really enjoyed these views.

If traveling, this is a great stop when you are on I-84  at exit 31 for the parking lot. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you visit early in the morning and on a weekday if possible. Many times the parking lot is too full to park and the falls  is extremely busy. We went on a Sunday morning at 8:00am and found that by the time we left it was busy with a full parking lot.

After finishing our 2 mile hike we let Butter cool down in the smaller stream that is next to the path leading to the parking lot. This is a fun place for kids, adults and puppies to play in the water given the correct supervision.











This was not our most enjoyable walk with Butter due to the crowds. She was very well behaved, but much of our attention and time was spent attending to her or waiting for people to get a chance to pet her. This is not a good hike for shy dogs. I would recommend visiting Multnomah Falls atleast once in a lifetime, but it will be most enjoyable with your pup at home.

This is nature, so there are plenty of places for your dog to use the bathroom, however, you want to bring your poop bags and leave Multnomah Falls cleaner than you found it. Trash cans are placed throughout the trail and are bear safe, so make sure you find the lever to open them. When sitting and waiting for our group to come back, many people had a difficult time with the lever due to their lack of interactions with bear safe trash cans.

Please visit the website to find more information and make your reservations for the restaurant. If you are reading this post close to when it is published (September 2017), please check fire updates for the Eagle Creek fire to ensure the freeway and hike are open.

Butter gives this hike 2 paws up! Although a human must do this hike at least once in a lifetime, it is best to leave your dog at home.

Butter only have 4 paws…so 4 paws up is the best!



A silly puppy makes every day better!

Silly puppy
Her hair is still growing back from her spay. She loves sleeping upside down!

We Support Finding an End to MS!

MS Walk & Socialization Corner

Today, Butter and I went to the MS walk to support our friend and co-worker, Tammy. We really enjoyed seeing our friends and walking. If you hear about a fundraising walk we strongly encourage you to show your support and take your dog, if it is allowed. Make sure you ask permission! This was a great opportunity to socialize Butter with kids, adults, dogs and being in a crowd.


Each flag represents a person living with MS.

Going on a walk in a crowd or at an event can be stressful, so set yourself up for success!

Some tips we suggest:

  • Take your dog for shorter walk, in your typical setting, so your dog is not overly energetic at your event. We suggest about one mile depending on your regular routine.
  • Start your event by having your dog follow some simple commands before you get into the crowd (sit, lay down, come, look).
  • Bring lots of treats so you are ready to train them and a clicker, if you do clicker training.
  • Do what is best for you and your dog. It is okay to hang out away from the crowd, do a shorter walk or walk on your own.

Doing these things can be the first part of setting yourself up for a great socialization experience.

What are things that you do to help your dog in crowded situations?


Dog Lover’s Hawaii

Waimano Loop Trail









Waimano Home Road, Pearl City, HI 96782

Our pawsitively wonderful guest star Ike is back by popular demand! He is ready to show us another trail in Hawaii. We are very lucky to have this handsome pup!

This hike is shaded most of the way.

The Waimano Loop Trail is located at the end of Waimano Home Road,  just past Pearl City High School and the Pearl City Cultural Center. The hike is approximately 2.2 miles long and is shaded most of the way. When we arrived we parked along the street by the entrance to the trail.

We would classify this hike as “moderately” difficult. There is uneven ground, some steep inclines/declines, rocky terrain, and a steep drop off in some places.

View from the Upper Waimano Loop

Although this hike is beautiful and dog friendly, it is near a public hunting area and requires your dog be on a leash at all times. When on this hike we have not encountered hunters, however, it is important to use caution and keep your dog safe.

We found many mosquitos on this hike, so bug spray is a must!

Ike loved this hike so much we have already done it twice! Both times we started on the “Lower Waimano Trail” and then continued onto the “Upper Waimano Trail.” The trail takes you briefly by a little stream creating the perfect spot for Ike to cool off. Ike remembered this stream and took us straight to the water when we returned a few days later. The whole family really enjoyed this hike, Ike especially.

Ike knows where the water is!
Time to cool down!

Necessary Supplies:

  • Water for yourself and your dog
  • Hiking shoes
  • Leash
  • Poop bags
  • Snacks for you and your dog (if desired)
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray

Ike gives Waimano Loop Trail 4 paws up!

Ike only has 4 paws…so 4 paws is the best!

About Ike

Breed: Great Pyrenees and Golden Retriever
Age: 13.5 months
Interests include: swimming, digging in sand, going on walks, car rides, eating ice cubes, and belly rubs.
The wonderful Ike!

A Lot Of Celebrating!

Happy 1 year anniversary to Butter’s Dad and my sweet husband!

Happy 7 months to sweet Butter!


So much to celebrate! Thankful for this funny looking puppy and our great life. We celebrated with a favorite hike. Hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day weekend! 


Dog Lovers Idaho

Dierkes Lake







Falls Ave, 1.25 miles North of 3300 East, Twin Falls, ID, 83301

Dierkes Lake is located on 191 acres next to the famous, Shoshone Falls. This is a short hike and provides a traveler and their canine a nice stretch and more views of the canyon. If you are local, it is fun to do this hike followed by a picnic in the grass next to the Shoshone Falls viewing platform.

Pretty sights throughout the hike.

Dierkes Lake is close to the city, but gives you beautiful views and a nice outdoor experience.  This 1.7 mile hike is a moderate hike (due to some stairs and rocks you need to climb/descend) but is short and not too difficult if you are comfortable with stairs.  You hit multiple viewpoints on this hike, so there are places to rest if you are taking it slow. I personally use this hike to train Butter on different hiking techniques (wait while I descend rocks, sit when people pass, lay down when asked).

Butter is enjoying the view…












If you enjoy rock climbing there are many different paths off the main trail to rocks, but if you are there for the exercise and views you will follow the “Lake Trail”. Dogs are allowed on the trails, but not in the water or on the grass of Dierkes Lake. If you would like to relax in the grass you can go to the Shoshone Falls side of this park (less than a minute drive) enjoying the grass and picnic tables with your dog in tow.

Dierkes Lake has bathrooms, covered picnic areas, play ground equipment, a non-motorized boat launch, sand volleyball pit, fishing areas and a swimming area with lifeguards on duty in the summer. Due to dog’s being limited to the hiking trail and shoshone falls area, this is also a fun place to visit without your puppy partner if possible. You could go fishing in some areas with a dog, if desired. Please do not leave your dog in the car while you are at Dierkes Lake, Idaho summers are TOO HOT!

It is obvious why Dierke’s Lake will be busy on the weekend!

The park costs $3.00 for a day pass or $25.00 for a season pass, so don’t forget to bring cash. You can park at the top before going through the gate and walk, however, this adds more mileage and some good hills. The lake will get busy on the weekends with picnicking families and swimmers, so go early to beat the crowd. I have noticed that the parking lots, although large, do fill up in the afternoon.

Since dogs can not go in the water and there is no shade on the trail you will want to visit during the cooler part of the day. Bring plenty of water and good walking shoes. Don’t forget your poop bags and leave the area cleaner than you found it. Picnic and fishing gear are optional.

A view of the lake.

Butter gives Dierkes Lake 4 paws up!

Butter only has 4 paws…so 4 paws up is the best!



Dog Lover’s Oregon

The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub

230 SE Court Ave, Pendleton, OR, 97801

We stopped at The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub as we traveled to a wedding (congratulations Audrey and Chris!). This was a delicious spot that filled us up! Butter was allowed outside at the tables on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.

Look at that cute face!

Butter was welcomed with open arms and the waiter brought water for her right away. We had our own bowl, which I would recommend, as they have only one communal bowl and it was “in use”. I also do not let Butter use communal bowls (It’s my own germ issue) so we bring a fold-a-bowl when we travel. The waiter brought us extra ice when asked and was very accommodating offering us a shade table after other costumers left.

I brought a blanket, chew toys and a bowl. Next time I would bring only chew toys and a bowl.

I felt we had plenty of room, however, people did walk by every few minutes since this is in the middle of downtown Pendleton and by the door of the restaurant. This was good for Butter’s training, but would be difficult if Butter was not socialized. I suggest bringing your dog a chew toy to keep them busy while you eat and people walk by (I typically bring bully sticks and pig ears). One other family had dogs at the restaurant, but the tables were spaced well and other dogs were not within reach when using a leash.

Even Butter is licking her chops! Not a great picture, but her expression was too cute. 
These drinks were great! Mine had lavender…yum.

The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub has many great accommodations. A toy room for children, relax areas with big chairs, neat antique decorations and  outside seating for dogs. The food was great and I really enjoyed the Blueberry Lavender Rickey Cocktail (It was so good that my virgin cocktail was even enjoyable!). Please visit their website to see their menu and other information.

She did a great job being patient while people walked by.

Down the street I found a block with some grass and a trash can. While Matt finished up, I took her down the street and she took care of her business. Very nice when traveling. I brought poop bags and left the area cleaner than I found it.

Butter gives The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub 4 paws up!

Butter only has 4 paws… so 4 paws is the best!