Tag Archives: Walks

New Adventures

I am enjoying my first week of retirement. This morning I decided to take Zeke and Shelby for a walk down the road and back for some exercise and some training. We walked down to the township park which is about 3/4 of a mile away. On the way we stopped occasionally to practice sits, downs, and stays. The picture above was taken while practicing stays in front of the local church. They had this pretty garland up for Christmas and I thought it made for the perfect photo opportunity while we were working on holding a sit. The pups did very well, especially considering that the recycling truck was emptying dumpsters just a few houses away. Shelby was not a fan of the grinding and banging but she did hold her stay.

We live in a small, rural community and apparently people are active in the morning. I never knew this because I was at work. On our way home a lady opened her front door to greet us as we passed by on the street. When she first saw Shelby, she thought her dog got out because she has a sheltie too. Once she realized it wasn’t her dog, she opened the door anyway to introduce herself and say hello. We talked for several minutes and I’m sure we will talk again as we had lots to say.

The dogs and I walked a short distance farther and another lady driving by in a van stopped to say hello and introduce herself. She said she knew where we lived and that I had visited another nearby homebound neighbor with two of the shelties before. We visited for a couple minutes then went on our separate ways. I learned that she also lives nearby.

What a lovely morning getting to meet two neighbors that I had never encountered before. I think that I am going to like this different life outside of the work environment. It is foreign to me but that just means it is a new adventure.

This is Zeke shortly after we returned from our walk and training. When the lady stopped in the van, he wasn’t sure if this was ok or if he should protect me. I told him it was alright and as the lady and I talked, Zeke relaxed. He was a good boy. This was a relief because he can sometimes be reactive to people or dogs that he does not know. But his response this time was just right. All the activity and decision making apparently wore him out. He needed a nap, so crashed on the living room couch with his head on the pillow.

I can’t wait to see what adventures tomorrow brings!

A Fine Fall Weekend

Saturday was a good day. The weather was pleasant, finally a break from the rain and gloom. It’s hard to complain too much when portions of the rest of the country have suffered from ongoing flooding. As fall progresses, our garden is still a very enjoyable place.

We have a beautiful aster and still lots of datura in bloom, as well as many other flowers.

And pups to enjoy them with us. How lucky can one girl get?

And we got a portable fire pit so as the fall weather continues to cool, we can still enjoy spending time outside. I think the pups approve.

We resumed going on walks starting today. The temperatures are just right to make them really enjoyable. We drove to a nearby town and walked and looked at architectural details on houses. And you’ll never believe who was the most well behaved dog was on our outing. Zekie! I never thought I would be saying that!

Share the Joy

There are numerous benefits to having well trained dogs. One of these benefits is that you get to go places and do things together. Here are Nikki and Shelby (The Girls) after our walk at Bear Town Lakes Park over the weekend. They are sitting and laying down (on command) for their post-walk photo while my niece played on the tunnels and slide. The Girls also did some socializing with some other children at the park who wanted to pet them.

My older niece got to walk Nikki. If the leash is dropped Nikki will just sit down and wait. My niece did a great job of walking Nikki though and had so much fun that she wanted to go around the lake a second time. So we did.

After we got back to the house and ate lunch, we all played with hats. Shelby and Nikki are trustworthy and able to play with and be petted by my nieces who are 5 and 1 years old. (Never leave dogs unattended with small children, even reliable ones. Accidents happen.)

The dogs and I also stopped at my workplace on our way home. It had been such a wonderful day that I wanted to share the joy. Everyone feels better after a little dog therapy.

If Shelby and Nikki were unruly and disobedient, we would not have been able to have all these fun experiences together. Training your dog/s pays off.

Zekie!

Time for a Zekie update. As long as one of us is home, he is a happy boy. Today was unseasonably warm for February in Ohio, 71 degrees. Of course after the snows melted off and then the rains came, it is quite muddy. See evidence above!

Zeke was quite happy running through the mud and playing with all the dogs on such a fine day.

He even took a turn bringing the frisbee back to daddy. All this running through the mud means that the boys came in the house one by one and got rinsed off in the bathtub and then dried with a towel. Zeke is so good. He jumps in the tub on command and stands while I rinse him off. He then jumps out of the tub and onto a towel on command then waits while I dry him.

It was so nice today and I was off work so we then went for a walk at a nearby state park. The water was still frozen but the weather was warm. It was interesting to see the patterns the ice made as the thawing began.

Zekie got to spend his first time off leash today. And he did great. He was nearly as proud as I was! I thought it unlikely that he would go very far since he becomes traumatized if he is not with one of us at all times. After a bit of freedom I leashed him back up so as not to give him too much temptation on his first time off leash with us. Two of our other dogs can be loose and are very reliable while alas, our greyhound must be leashed always. See how happy this outing made Zeke in the brief video below.

So as you can see, Zeke is doing well!

Fun With Dogs!

When you live in Ohio and it’s snowed every day this week and then you finally get a sunny day, what do you do? Walk dogs!

Here, Baxter and Shelby watch while dad makes a snowball for them to chase.

Zekie waits patiently while I take a couple of pictures.

Shelby saying, come on, let’s go.

Yes, the walk was cold. It was also lots of fun. Anytime we can watch the dogs run around and see them with smiles this big, it is a good day!

Evening Walk

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I have always liked to walk dogs in the nearby cemetery when I want a quick walk. I enjoy the old stones and the beauty and history they share.

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I took only Baxter so we could work on training. We haven’t worked one on one in a long time so we started with sit and down, then give paw and other paw. Also sit-stay so I could get these pics.

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Baxter is a good boy. He is different than all of our other dogs. He prefers to work for praise and back scratches rather than food. He will take a treat to be polite but then lays it down and walks away. He will take a bedtime treat. He apparently has his own rules.

A Winter’s Day

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I have always liked winter. If the roads were just heated so travel was safe, it would definitely be my favorite season. We had our largest snowfall to date for the winter just last weekend. I took a brief jaunt around our property so I could share my appreciation of the snow and the winter season with you. Above is the front of our home blanketed in fresh snow. That majestic old pine is twice as tall as the house. In summer it provides cooling shade, and throughout the year it makes a nice windbreak.

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This treeline is our view across the street from our house. Right now it looks like all the trees are covered in cotton bolls. And then there’s the dogwood tree in our front yard. I couldn’t resist including it because it has such beautiful form.

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Walking down the driveway, our garden gate is to the left. It still begs me to come in, even through the deep snow. I guess deep is relative. We got about 8 inches over night. I know some people got more. I known I was glad to have the day off work so I didn’t have to drive in it.

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This is the view down the garden walkway. It was especially silent inside the protective walls. A winter wonderland.

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The view of the workshop and garage relaxes me. It all looks so “soft” with the snow snuggling around it. I do see that I never got around to taking down my hanging baskets. That’s OK, they remind me that spring will come again, and I will appreciate that too.

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This is the fenced pasture where the dogs can play for a time when we are home. You can see all the wood we have stockpiled for summer bonfires. It is in the dog pasture because there is no where that we would rather be for a bonfire than with our dogs!

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Our trumpet vine has beautiful “bones” when the leaves are gone. It is growing up a light post which makes it look like a tree.

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I go back inside and this is the view out my kitchen window. This fenced area is attached to the house for ease in putting the dogs in and out. It is also commonly referred to at our house as the poop yard. I believe this is self explanatory. It is especially appreciated when we have foster dogs and don’t know if they are trustworthy outside. On foster dogs’  first day or two with us, I still stand outside with them or may even walk them on leash inside the fence as it is only 3 1/2 feet high. Our first foster dog at this house was a collie named Saffron. She jumped the fence which resulted in me also vaulting over the fence, in my bathrobe and fuzzy leopard print slippers. I didn’t want to lose sight of her so took off in hot pursuit. Saffron was just looking for a good time and didn’t really want to run away so all ended well.

I notice this writing ends with a dog story, as all things in my life do. So let me say once again, life is good!

Beginnings and Endings

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Last weekend was beautiful, and quite possibly fall’s last hurrah so we all made the most of it. I took the opportunity to walk around our woods. The dogs kept an eye on me as they were outside enjoying the weather too. You can see that watching me is very serious business by the intense stares.

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This is the path the dogs watched me amble  down. Not many leaves remained on the trees but the grass was still green and the sun was shining. Actually I took a stroll down the path to go visit Roxanne, who now resides in the doggy cemetery, after her recent passing. You can read her story elsewhere on this blog.  https://sanctuaryacres.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/roxanne-and-the-big-ride/

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And this is the trail from the edge of our woods back up the hill towards the house. It is covered with a lush carpet of moss. I know from taking the class, Mosses and Bryophytes, back in my college days that this is a Polytrichum moss. They are very green and ornate.

Wood crib

As I pass the wood crib I am comforted by the piles of wood that will keep us warm this winter. We have yet to turn our boiler on for the year. In the fall we try to heat with wood. Our goal is not to turn the boiler on until December 1st. This goal has varying degrees of success depending on the severity of cold and our degree of motivation. During the dead of winter we still burn wood but it is a  supplement to our central heating system. It seems appropriate somehow as our home was built in 1830 and we use this archaic method of warmth for a significant portion of the heating season.

Baxter on the Dog house

Here is Baxter watching  my return. Of course my walk through the woods begins and ends with dogs. As it should. This is a metaphor of my life. Life is good.

 

 

 

My Xanadu

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These are the faces of happy, tired dogs. And we all know, a tired dog is a good dog. Friday afternoon was the perfect day for a Fall hike so we loaded up four of the dogs and went to a park near us. Above are Phoebe the greyhound and Baxter whom we refer to as a baxterhound. If the world had more baxterhounds, it would be a better place.

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Shelties, Shelby, and foster dog Sweetie also joined us on this fine day. The fall leaves looked spectacular against the dogs’ coats. They really brought out the rich browns and mahoganies. Each enhanced the other and looked all the better for it.

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Here, Phoebe and Shelby pose for effect. Our own three dogs are trustworthy off leash so they were free to sniff for squirrels and to tell off chipmunks. Whenever we encountered other hikers, especially with dogs, we called our dogs to us and leashed them up so as not to bother anyone else. As you can see from her picture above, poor Sweetie had to stay on leash. As a foster dog, we just don’t know her as well as we know our own dogs. I find it hard to imagine that she would stray very far from my husband but it’s just not worth the chance. Sweetie is a daddy’s girl through and through. She thinks I’m nice too, but only as an afterthought.

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The views as we hiked were beautiful. I feel very fortunate to live in this area of Ohio when I am looking at views like this. The dogs paused to look too, although I’m not so sure that they’re not looking for wildlife rather than at the Fall leaves.

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Normally yellow and gold are not my favorite colors but Mother Nature does it right and I am a big fan of the bounty of color. There are several small lakes in the area making this enjoyable hiking terrain.

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As we enjoyed the sites, I was thinking a Fall hike in the woods is about as good as it gets. With dogs of course!

Fall Beauty

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I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. And I think fall is my favorite season of all. Just look at the shot above that I took over the weekend while I was kayaking. It was actually my first time kayaking on a body of water of any size. The weather was perfect and I thought, I’ve wanted to do this for years. Today’s the day. I’m so glad I did.

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This was my view as I paddled around the reservoir at West Branch State Park. I saw a blue heron flying low overhead, gulls, and ducks. Although there were a few power boats out, the water was still and peaceful. I could take a few minutes to stop paddling and enjoy the gentle sound of the waves . The leaves on the trees were just starting to turn but there were plenty of jewel toned leaves to enjoy. (Many thanks to my wonderful brother for the loan of his kayak so I could experience this.)

The next day I was able to get out for a walk with some of the dogs. The weather is cool enough now that we can get out more and go for walks.

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These are some of the views we saw as we walked.  I noted that the body of water seemed much larger when I was paddling across it in a kayak.

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The dogs always have a confused look when I stop walking to take photographs. They must wonder why I am stopping if I’m not even going to bother to sniff anything.

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This is one of my favorite walks not only because of the beautiful scenery but because the sound of the waves makes me feel like I am at the ocean. Almost like a mini-vacation.

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That is Sweetie on the left and Shelby on the right. Sweetie is our foster dog. She and Shelby make a nice brace walking so nicely together. I couldn’t ask for better companions to enjoy my day.