Winter is here, although by the look of it here in Kentucky, you wouldn't know it. The snow we were supposed to get went south of us. Major bummer, though we did get a dusting of snow.
Took a couple of the pups out in to the yard. Squeaker's coat is thick and fluffy and she had no problems. Ace too seemed to be fine as far as the cold, but she got a little intimidated by the boys. She loved playing on the porch though. But out in the snow, she explored a bit, then wanted to be held. Squeaker loves the boys, and goads them to play with her. I have to keep reminding Demon and Yukon that she is just a young pup though and they need to play gentle. They haven't hurt her, but being pinned down by an adult dog is intimidating. I think Squeaker is getting used to it now, as it doesn't seem to bother her at all, she's just happy the adult dogs are playing with her. The other pups, though, kind of freak when Demon stands over them and 'itch' bites their fur. It's his way of being gentle and playing, but some of the pups think he's genuinely trying to eat them. He wants to rough house and tumble so bad, but knows they are just babies.
Moon gets cold rather quickly in below 30 temps, but did well at 34 degrees. She is starting to get over being intimidated by the boys, but still is not too fond of being 'itched' by Demon. She loved playing on the porch with Squeaker. The two of them ran from dog igloo to igloo picking up pieces of straw, chewing on the odd dead beatle, cruching up stored kibble, chasing eachother around the igloos, and seeing who was brave enough to stay out in the snow side of the porch the longest.
It is so fun to watch them play, but I also need to let the big dogs have fun, so I hooked up Samantha to just me and we went for a slow jog Saturday. We ran about 3/4 a mile. Samantha loved it and wanted more, but she was tired, her composure told me that she was pushing herself, so we walked the last 1/4 mile back to the house. She seemed sorry that it was over when we got back, but when it was apparent that I wasn't taking her back out, she flopped down on the couch and dozed off.
Sunday I got the cart and the two boys out, and we went about a mile and a half with me assisting on the up-hill. This time, I put Demon in dual lead with Yukon, and he was fantastic! He really put his considerable brawn in to it, and goaded his brother in to pulling harder too.
It is the greatest feeling to be at one with the dogs, to feel their power and free spirit. To know the joy of the run and the wind. You really get to know what is in their hearts and minds. It is a kind of mock-hunt, where the run is the game, and at the end of the trail there is meat. It is play and instinct rolled in to one event, one joyous venture into the wind and wild with the pack, and I do not dissapoint them. At the end of the run, they get meat and they are fulfilled in their trust in me their provider and benevolent diety. They shower me with their love and obesence, happily pushing each other away in order to show their devotion is deeper. I return their affection whole-heartedly and check their feet, massage their shoulders, legs, back and belly, ensuring there are no knots or anything out of place. They love the rub-down and lick my face enthusiastically showing their approval when they can.
It is a ritual passed down from the depths of time. An ageless unity of soul for human and canine, and the awe still lingers.