August 12, 2013 – Jackie and I decided to get away for a few days with our pack of three dogs. But where to go? Most campgrounds that allow dogs limit the number to, at most, 2 dogs. Our pack is composed of three, relatively large dogs: Remi, Lila and Carly. After an extensive internet search, Jackie found a place called Glen Highland Farm (“GHF”) in Morris, New York. A three and a half hour drive not so quickly turned into four and a half hours in the car as we hit immediate traffic on Route 287 approaching the Tap.
When we finally arrived we realized the long drive was well worth it. We found doggie heaven. Dogs are encouraged to roam free – off leash – throughout the 200 acres of GHF. From the large meadows to the many wooded trails, along creek-beds and through streams, jumping off bridges and wading in ponds, GHF was made for dogs to enjoy exploring the great outdoors. And we humans can enjoy hiking the trails as we marvel at our dogs’ instinctive exploration of nature even as they periodically look back at us to ensure that we are keeping up with their pace. Not even the sporadic rain shower, or suddenly finding themselves in deeper water than they expected, diminished our pack’s enthusiasm. It all caught up with them as we came back to our cabin after a 3 hour romp through the woods: Jackie and I sat down to read and relax while Remi, Lila and Carly collapsed and fell into a deep sleep. It truly is a dog’s life here at Glen Highland Farm.
A little bit about Glen Highland Farm. GHF was established as a Border Collie Rescue. For roughly 12 years the owners brought together rescue dogs with troubled children with the intent of encouraging the children and dogs to heal each other under the guidance and facilitation of counselors and therapists. With the changing economy, GHF now acts as a doggie rescue and campgrounds for people and their canine friends. When the owners first bought the land, it was an old, unused dairy farm with overgrown fields and woods. The owners let their dogs loose to explore and create trails along the property, following the dogs with a tractor and chainsaw to clear away the overgrown bushes and trees. Every trail in named for the original dog which found it. There is even a hill called the Garden of Resting Spirits, where people can bury the ashes of their dogs who passed, leaving urns and placards telling the life stories of those dogs.
Why do I mention our camping vacation with our dogs?
During our first full day at GHF, Jackie and I were sitting on chaise lounges on top of a hill overlooking the meadow (one of the few places where we could get cell phone reception). We alternated between reading and talking on the phone. Then we looked at each other, sighed, and smiled realizing that this was our first vacation which was truly relaxing. No children to tend to. No other family obligations. No obligations period! Our only responsibilities were to relax and enjoy the great outdoors with our dogs. And it is amazing how taking just a few days to get away from it all can recharge your enthusiastic drive for life.
So, if you’re feeling your drive and engagement levels being sapped away by the pressures of life, or, better yet, before you get to that point of burn-out, get away for a few days and relax in the comfort on nature. You’ll be amazed at the positive change even those few days can make on your perspective and energy levels. You will return home reinvigorated and ready to meet your daily challenges head-on.
Consider the possibilities.
Adam J. Krim