Meet Miles, a rescue dog who loves to balance on fire hydrants. He’s journeyed across 20 states, posing atop 700+ hydrants and he’s not stopping there. In February, he touched down in the first state and well, we quickly became enamoured with his tails up fire hydranting antics via instagram. You can’t resist this sweet, brown, proud 4 year old, 12 pound bundle of sunshine. Read this story of compassion, positive reinforcement and compromise. Who rescued who?
We caught up with Joan Forry, Miles’ Mom, to learn how Miles first got his jumping on. “When we first adopted him, he was scared of so many things” Joan says. “He was pretty skittish and reactive when we went for walks. I had to help him learn to be less scared of the world around him. So we played games on our walks and used lots of positive reinforcement. He went from being scared to looking forward to playing fun games. We played a game where we would walk and he’d put his front paws on random things: my knee, flower pots, mailboxes, stop signs, etc. He’d get rewarded in cheese, which he thought was just the best thing e-v-e-r.”
“One of the best things about Miles on Hydrants is that this game was Miles’ idea.” Joan Forry, Miles’ Mom
Joan shares how it all started – “We were living in Los Angeles in May 2014. One day, I asked him to put his front paws on a fire hydrant. To my surprise, he jumped on top of it and balanced there. He was so proud! I took his photograph. The next fire hydrant we saw, he did it again. Soon, he was recognizing hydrants from down the street and racing to jump on the next one. He had so much fun playing this weird game, we decided to keep going. Now, he’s balanced on almost 700 fire hydrants in 20 states!”
Joan’s favorite photos are the ones where he puts his back feet on the stem nut of the fire hydrant and sticks his tail way up in the air. What a poser!
Miles has balanced on 700+ hydrants in 20 states
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
- New Jersey
- New York
As for where they are off to next — “we’ll be in Pennsylvania for a while and then we’ll be in Maryland in May 2016!”
Passers-by Reactions to Miles on Hydrants
“We usually get a lot of laughter and compliments. It’s quite a sight to see a dog on top of a fire hydrant, after all. We also get people who like to make jokes like, “that’s not how a dog’s supposed to use a hydrant!”. Occasionally, we attract people who just glare at us – they are few and far between.
Once we were in Spring City, PA, and two guys spotted Miles on a hydrant from across the street inside their third floor apartment. They opened the window, started laughing and hollering questions to me. They wanted to know if he jumped up there by himself, and then Miles jumped off and jumped back on the hydrant. They cheered at the tops of their lungs.”
Caption from Joan’s Photo No 674 is a hoot! “In Delaware on 2.20.2016: A woman stopped to chat with us while Miles perched on this hydrant and said “I hope you’re getting paid to take such cute photographs!”. In Delaware City, Delaware. (No. 674)”
Miles had a great time in Delaware!
“We visited Delaware City on his first trip to Delaware, where he balanced on 18 fire hydrants. We love to explore small towns. Miles really enjoyed exploring Fort DuPont. It was quiet and had a variety of different kinds of fire hydrants. Fire hydrants vary in shape and size, so each type is like a little puzzle for Miles. He has to figure out how to jump on top, and then where to put his feet, and how he’s going to pose for the camera.”
Miles on Hydrants Delaware Favorite
Joan shared “My favorite photo from our trip to Delaware was No. 677. It’s in the parking lot behind Crabby Dick’s in Delaware City. I love the colors and Miles’ expression is very relaxed and contemplative.”
“Another favorite is No. 685, taken at Fort DuPont. It’s in front of what used to be the Fort’s library. We love to share a little local history with our followers, and I feel so lucky when there’s a fire hydrant in front of interesting historical sites.”
“Another favorite is No. 670. There’s a nice view of Clinton Street in the background and Miles is looking up, which is always adorable.”
Miles on Hydrants Overall Favorite
Miles on Hydrants Posing with a Purpose
We asked Joan Why this. “One of the things we like to show through this project is the importance of finding an activity to share with your dog. Since Miles had a rough start in life and still has some fears and worries, there are lots of doggy things that he just doesn’t enjoy. A lot of positive reinforcement has made it possible for him to enjoy exploring new places and discover this quirky game. Have fun with your dog in a way that keeps your dog feeling safe and comfortable, however weird it may be!”
We, NorthDelaWHEREHappening.com, couldn’t resist sharing this one from Miles Delaware City shenanigans – #673 and we soon learned that “Yes, Miles does love pizza! He especially loves to sniff around the pizza places in the towns we visit. No pizza, here – sniff!”
One of Miles on Hydrants First in 2014!
You’ve come a long way baby!
Bet You’ve learned a lot about fire hydrants!
“Oh, and yes, I’ve learned a LOT about all of the different types of fire hydrants! It’s really incredible, actually. Fire hydrants are a mundane part of our urban infrastructure, but they make our lives safer. Before fire hydrants and modern water systems, there were horse drawn water-filled wagons and bucket brigades. I find this part of the project really fascinating. Now, everywhere I go, I notice the fire hydrants!” shares Joan.
Follow Miles on Hydrants Travelogue
They post a new photo of Miles on a fire hydrant every day on Facebook and Instagram.
Come Back Soon Miles, ya Hear?