Trail Talk 194 November 3rd 2021

Chewy when 4 years old with a pumpkin

Many of the local hikers will have met me and my dog Chewy, a Shih Tzu who has walked the local trails nearly every day for most of the last 13 years. He died on October 28th aged 15 (I got him when he was two years old). He was a regular Tuesday Tromper, L.I.F.E. and Uneven hiker for over 12 years. My routine has been to hike with him for 1 to 2 hours in the morning with a shorter half hour hike after supper.  One hiker read that Shih Tzu should be walked only 20 minutes or so, but neither he nor I agreed. He twice hiked the 22 km of the second part of the Maitland Camino. The first one in June 2013 was very hot and he leaped into a flooded ditch in Saltford.  He was also grateful for a small puddle on a 10 km hike near Blind River

I only once had to take him to the vet due to a bad injury- not from wildlife but from two other dogs.  I had him on the leash on the Millennium trail at the Optimist’s Park, where a lady had three unleashed dogs. The two mastiff type dogs came over to attack Chewy. I was fending them off , when Chewy slipped his collar and then they chased and bit him.  I had to carry him back to the car and take him straight to the vet. Fortunately the lady, who was from Kitchener, paid the vet bill.

Paula, Irene, Lise, Gabi and Joy climbing a hill in the Morris Tract

He met a raccoon twice but they just looked at each other.  The only time I saw a skunk, Chewy didn’t, which was a relief.  Until his eyesight was too bad, he would chase squirrels never catching one. Once a baby squirrel didn’t run away, so he then stopped and just looked at it!  He had one unintended immersion when I hiked the Clinton Conservation Area trail, he went into the river for a drink and was swept through a culvert, fortunately having no after effects. Once I was not paying enough attention, he fell off the bridge at Bannockburn even though leashed, falling about six feet to the ground. After being rescued he carried on as if nothing had happened.  He tended to get coated up with seeds and burrs and to accumulate a lot of snow when the temperature was around freezing, so sometimes I had to carry him back to the car and later put him warm water in a laundry tub. He loved to get dog treats unless they were the cheapest ones. He trained a few hikers to give him treats and he would get up onto his hind legs and bark.  At Lobbs he would eagerly pull on his leash when he realized other hikers with treats were ahead- well before I heard or saw them.  He appeared on Feb 15th 2012  in the Signal Star with me, an unnamed hiker, on the Maitland Cemetery trail after the tornedo damage. He has hiked on the Huron County trails, more often than most people usually being out twice a day for most of the time I have had him, until he slowed down in June this year. Chewy will be missed.

Six hikers came out on October 23rd in the Morris Tract where we met quite a few of the Bad Thing Runners. Hats off to them, it is quite an effort to hike the Maitland Trail never mind running it.

One strange sight was to find three golf balls on the trail which is many kilometers away from the nearest golf course.  We used a new little bypass at River Bend to avoid the main trail by the pond when beavers have flooded the trail. It starts where there is yellow flagging tape and finishes near the Outhouse.

You may see some small blue flags along the Maitland Trail.  These were installed to guide ‘The Bad Thing” runners .


The Maitland, Bayfield Woodland and Lobb trails are closed from November 1st to 7th due to gun deer hunting. This does not include the Falls Reserve, GART, Maitland Woods, Millennium or Sifto trails.

Duck hunting season started on September 25th

The section of the Maitland trail from 7.9 km to 10.5 km is closed until the end of the year.

Tuesday Trompers hike for about an hour contact Al Sanders at

Uneven  Hikers  hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m.

The Woodlands Nature trail is still probably closed past the bridge due to uncleared storm damage.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at