Time to Go!

We dogs thought our departure for the south was scheduled for December 15 so I’ve been pretty relaxed about getting ready. Plenty of time. But the past couple of days there have been signs around the house and the farm that our departure is imminent. Horse sitters and house sitters coming by for their instructions, final visits with friends, boxes and bins appearing in every room.

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Farewell dinner with G and S.

With this terrific weather we’ve been having, the snow has all melted, we’ve been out walking in the fields to the west, and I thought the peeps might want to stick around for awhile.  But, not so much. I think they’re seeing it as a good weather window to get south, before the snow and cold returns. I heard T say that the roads are clear all the way to Arizona!

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Winter is taking a break.

Yesterday afternoon was the biggest sign yet, Sid got hitched to the truck and pulled closer to the house. Yikes!

So, last night, I quickly packed everything crucial.

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Priorities packed.

It’s Friday now and we don’t seem to be going anywhere just yet so I think there’s time to pull out my take-along list from last year. I was so much more organized. I guess that’s what happens when the date gets moved up by a week.

Anyway, best get to it. When T and Nollind are on a roll, things happen quickly, especially when the weather is cooperating. Talk to you from the road!

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Full moon on the prairie.

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Winter Fun

Winter’s come early this year, and I’ve heard quite a bit of griping about it from the humans … it’s cold … it’s snowy … it’s slippery.  I say, it’s winter! It comes every year so I’m really not sure why they’re surprised or upset by it. Living where we do, it’s inevitable that it’s going to turn cold and snowy. Winter will arrive. No question. It’s just the when and how.

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A snowy start to November. This was on the 2nd.

In my opinion, just between you and me, my humans have gotten soft from their winters in the south. The first few inches of snow, the first day the thermometer drops to -10C (14F), they’re ready to head for the deserts of Arizona. They used to be a pretty hardy pair—skating in twenty below weather, skiing into backcountry huts, attending outdoor New Year’s Eve parties, rolling in the snow when hot-tubbing—all kinds of winter adventures. They’re still adventurous, just less so if it involves getting cold.

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One of many winter adventures.

And I hate to say it but my old pal Logan is getting that way too. Well, you read his blog last week, Point Me South. He’s gotten soft in his old age. We went out for a short walk today and he was trying to pull all four feet off the ground at once. It didn’t work, in case you’re wondering. I have to confess that I also pulled a paw out of snow today when it was hurting, but just for a few seconds, and just the one. I hope T didn’t see or she might put me in the dreaded boots. I hate those things.

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Look ma, all four feet on the ground.

I’m usually pretty much a “live life to the fullest” kind of guy, and winter is no exception. In fact, I find snow kind of magical. One day there’s dirt and rocks and grass, the next they’ve all disappeared and there’s this wonderful fluffy stuff to run and roll and play in. What’s not to like?

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Enjoying a winter walk.

 

And early snow means we’ve had a couple of ski days already. I don’t ski, of course, but T does and it means we go farther and faster and it’s all off-leash time for me. She tried the leash thing once but it was a bit of a disaster. I kept pulling her over. T’s been suffering with a nasty cold, but as soon as she’s better, we’ll be back out in the fields with the skis. Sadly, Logan can’t join us this year. The deep snow is just too hard for him.

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Skiing west of the farm.

That’s the part of winter I’m not liking, watching my buddy struggle. We went out with T and Nollind to take down the horses’ temporary fall pasture fence. I went off exploring the south end of the pasture into the deep snow and Logan followed me. It was tough going because there was soft snow covered with a crust with more soft snow on top of that. He actually got stuck, marooned in this big expanse of deep snow. They had to go and rescue him with the Kubota. I’ll be more careful where I lead him next time.

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Staying on the path made by the Kubota.

Merriam-Webster defines winter as three things:

  1. The season between autumn and spring comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of December, January, and February or as reckoned astronomically extending from the December solstice to the March equinox.
  2. The colder half of the year.
  3. A period of inactivity or decay.

Number 1 is technically correct, Number 2 is closer to the truth in Canada, but Number 3 makes no sense at all. Inactivity? Winter is definitely not a period of inactivity, or it certainly doesn’t have to be. Let’s go play in the snow!11-chico-winterfun-chico

Writer’s Block

11-chico-halfdogI think that’s what you call this … writer’s block. Merriam-Webster says that writer’s block is “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” That sounds about right.

I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out what to write. Logan’s got it easy these days. Every couple of weeks he’s got at least one new ailment or condition to tell you about. Okay, maybe easy isn’t exactly the right word for what he’s got going on, but he’s definitely got things to write about.

I thought of writing about the arrival of winter, but that sounds a lot like what I wrote last time when I talked about having four seasons in one. But, just to update you, the cat house (aka Meowi) has been plugged in which signals the official start of winter on the farm.11-chico-meowi2

And then I considered writing about how I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out near Logan, supporting him … but then this thing happened yesterday. I got a little rambunctious at the beginning of our walk in the afternoon and knocked him right off his feet when I ran into him. Oops. I went down too if it’s any consolation.11-chico-deckdogs

I also thought it might be time to start talking about our upcoming journey to the desert. Things are a little up in the air because of Logan’s health, but we’re planning to head out with Sid in tow in the middle of December. (I hope. I hope.) But that can wait. It’s still weeks away.

My dog park tales might have made a good blog post, but there just wasn’t enough to tell you about my two trips to the park. I met a few dogs, had some great play sessions, tired myself out to the point I was having trouble keeping my hind end upright but, other than that, not much to tell. Oh, and I just love small dogs.11-chico-dogpark

I could have told you about Logan’s great new bed they made for him right in the middle of the house. It’s near the heater, it has multiple layers, and it is just the comfiest thing on the planet. It’s awesome. He gets to sleep on it all night so I figure I should be able to spend some of the day there. Now that he’s feeling better, T and Nollind are less inclined to boot me off.11-chico-logansbed

It’s not much of a story, but I went along on Logan’s latest trip to the vet, and afterward, we ran some errands in Strathmore. I’m really happy for Logan that he’s travelling better, but his getting comfortable in the car seems to be taking up a lot more space than when he was nervous and wouldn’t lie down.11-chico-car

And then I considered writing a post on my recent role as trail dog when T took Storm out for a field ride. It is a super-important job and I think I did pretty well. It turned out there weren’t any partridges or deer to flush out, but, if there had been, I was on it. Don’t want them spooking the horse when he’s right on top of them. Although I have to confess, I did get distracted once and ended up being just the thing that spooked Storm when I came bolting out of the deep grass. I’ll do better next time.11-chico-horseride

So, here I am, still stuck. Maybe I’ll think of something to tell you about in a couple of weeks.