Barking Mad

Hello, friends! It’s been a while. Since Andy and I officially bought and moved into our own house in September (still not sure if it’s real!), I’ve been neglecting my photography, and consequently this blog. But no more! Now that all three of us have settled in, I’m determined to get back into it.

What better way to reboot than with some short-legged doggos? Andy and I have debated what the proper term for a group of Vallhunds would be, but I think a “noise” probably sums it up. Last Sunday, the first organized Vall walk since we moved to Pinehaven happened to be just 15 minutes up the road at a place called Tunnel Gully. It takes its name from the old train tunnels there, now part of an extensive converted walking/biking trail that goes all the way over the Rimutaka Mountains. I did a blog about a year ago where Emma and I hiked part of the Rimutaka Rail Trail.

Anyway, Tunnel Gully! At the base of the rail trail, the paths are a little more rugged here, but still easy. The plan was to do a walk and then a picnic, but the weather was a bit gloomy. A little rain never discouraged a Vall pack, though.


As soon as we showed up, Higgs was beyond excited to join his mates.


If anyone has treats or a stick, ALL THE VALLS immediately know. First one to the stick gets bragging rights!


Higgs had to show off, of course.


Hmmm. Maybe Mom and Dad shouldn’t let him on the deck table at home.

Now that everyone had arrived, it was time to head off into the forest.



First things first, the group found a swimming spot. Higgs picked a good perch to observe the action from before jumping in.


Here’s his doggo BFFs, Ryder & Kepler. Kepler (in the foreground) and Higgs are half-brothers.


Now, time for some water action!


A few minutes into our walk, we were caught up by another couple of young Vallhunds, one of which was accompanied by his four-month-old corgi brother, Rufus. Higgs had to say hello. “What big ears you have!”


So cute! Poor Rufus was a bit overwhelmed by all the fuss and noise.

Higgs, meanwhile, just wanted to be a ham.


A barking ham.


The group found something delectable to sniff, so of course they all joined in.


Let’s just zoom in on Higgsy’s face though…


Snarl, grass-eating face or whiff of something unsavory (which would have to be pretty darn bad to meet dog standards of unsavory, if that’s even possible)? Regardless, that photo cracks me up!

Back to the woods. Are you coming, humans?


Ooh, another good smell! Probably one of the other dogs that just peed there seconds before. Intriguing!


Big tree + small dog for scale:


“Yes, Mom?”


And the most handsome biped and quadruped on the walk:


You don’t have to go far on any trail here for insane views reminiscent of Jurassic Park.


Civilization feels miles away.

“What’s taking you so long, Mom?”


More good smells!


Having a dog who runs ahead does have its benefits, particularly when he pops up in places like this.


“Stay… Stay… Good boy!”


He even found me an epic waterfall, made even better by all the recent heavy rain.


Also good for a drink.


It’s always amusing to see the looks on other people’s faces when they encounter our pack of multiple Vallhunds (13 this time, if I counted right, plus a couple “honorary Vall” siblings). There weren’t many other hikers on this Sunday due to weather, though. Their loss!



When we reached a clearing, it was the perfect time for all the dogs to play and show off their tricks.



Higgs couldn’t wait to have a tumble with his half-bro Kepler.


Trust me, Keppie isn’t as mean as this picture makes him out to be:


Boy doggos will be boy doggos!

And to finish off a great outing, one more chance to show off.


Andy and I are off to Martinborough this weekend with our friends Scott and Mel. Hopefully there will be some pictures to come from that (if I can put my wine down), so see you soon. I promise this time!

2 thoughts on “Barking Mad

  1. Nothing better than a Higgs/Vall walk blog. Glad we got to participate in one so that we can appreciate a “noise” of Vallhunds.


  2. What great doggo photos! There are really some beauties of Higgs – and his pals. Love the commentary, too. You are very lucky to be so near this beautiful spot, Kelsey. But then, you really have your choice of many beautiful spots. Have a great time in Martinborough (aaaah). Looking forward to those pix!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close