Karen Ramstead, Queen of the Tundra herself has just called to inform me that the days do not grow in length until December 24th, and even then it isn't much. She even provided official government data. She has burst the little happy bubble I've been hanging on to for most of my adult life. I slip into a dark, winter induced depression... well not really... MY cup is still half full! ;-)
Let's all take a moment to celebrate the Winter'sSolstice. Why you ask? Because today is the shortest day of the year, the darkest, and I can only hope the coldest. So instead of dwelling on the fact that this can be miserable time of year, I prefer to be a "cup half full" kind of person and remind myself that there will be a little more sunshine tomorrow, and a little more the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that...
Hope and Tell sleep in crates. Mateo sleeps beside my bed, and Bruce...well Bruce pretty much sleeps wherever he wants to. Generally this means he sleeps outside. I tried for months to convince him that he would someday have to fill Mateo's shoes and that he should also sleep in the bedroom. I even provided him with a cushy bed. After months of putting up with his middle of the night requests to go out, I finally caved and let him sleep out. Anyway, the Border Collies have no choice as to where they sleep, and Bruce has all of the choice in the world... so where have I been catching him lately?
Jammed inside Hope's crate. A crate that is really too small for him I might add. Apparently I'm punishing him by NOT crating him.
When I was about 5 or 6 I started a list. Don't ask me why, but I decided to keep track of how many "modes of transportation" I used. I know - I was an odd child. When you are that age, you think it's a fairly short list - plane, train, automobile. Of course, as I got older and broadened my horizons I discovered that there were an AWFUL LOT of ways to get around the world. I've checked off things like elephant, camel, biplane, tractor, cog train, etc., etc.. As a dog trainer, you'd think that by now I'd have managed to clear "dog sled" off the list by now, but somehow I was never in the right place at the right time.
You can probably figure out by now where I'm heading with this.
Yep, that's me - giddy little school girl all over again!
And we're off! What a great way to get around. Quiet, but not quiet. Just the sound of dogs breathing, feet moving, and snow squeaking under the runners. I definitely see how people get hooked on this.
Kicking it into high gear.
Interesting that while it is common in the dog training world to talk about how challenging "northern breeds" can be to work with, that I watched dogs as responsive to command as my Border Collies. Their change of direction was as precise as anything I'd expect from my guys.
Yes, it's about as warm and toasty as it looks... but trust me, there's a BIG smile under there.
Heading back into the dog yard.
The Perk at at the end of the trail - a happy fish. Trust me, he's smiling...so are the dogs.
See, he's definitely smiling too.
Thanks Karen for a great time as well as an opportunity to check another thing off my list!
I guess cold weather and cabin fever lead to "blog games". Jenny tagged me and so of course I had to go digging. This is what I came up with. My pictures folder, 6th folder in, 6th photo in the folder:
I took this photo last March. It was one of the shots that didn't make it into the "Heatstroke!?" blog. Now here's the funny bit. When we went out on that walk, Travis spontaneously jumped into the snow backwards. It was really funny, BUT I didn't have the camera ready (the downside of spontaneouty). However, I knew this was definitely "blog material". Once you begin writing a blog you start to catagorize a whole portion of your life as "blog material" or "not blog material" and you also discuss with other bloggers where to draw the "blogger line", as in "too much blogger information", or "perhaps my reader's sense of humour isn't quite as twisted as mine"... Anyway, as I knew that this was great blog material, I asked Travis to do it again...and again....and again...until I had the shots just right. Each time he found a fresh patch of wet snow and threw himself in with abandon. That sure says something about a man. I THINK it says good things. ;-)
No old dogs were harmed in the making of these pictures. It was -36 when we woke up this morning. This old dog demanded to be let out, then ran around like an idiot chasing dogs much younger than himself. Apparently older does not always mean wiser...
Mateo is getting older. It's just a fact of life. Now that he's starting to slow down and stiffen up a bit, we've tried to do a few things to make him as comfy as possible. I think he enjoys these creature comforts.
So why is it that every time he heads over to one of the dog beds he sees this?
As usual, I went out to visit Mr. Inuksuk in the garden to see what he thought of the weather.
I think he went to Arizona...
We complain about not being able to see the forest for the trees. Do Border Collies complain about not being able to see the sheep for the snow?
And while these guys didn't seem to mind the weather one bit, I did hear their fearless musher - Miss "I love winter" herself, mutter "this sucks" while she suited up after her coffee break here today...
Nicole has been hanging out at our place for a couple of weeks. At first Tell wasn't too sure about her. She apparently didn't meet his minimum height requirement for "HUMAN". He seems to be getting over it, and is busy making friends with typical Tell style.