Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘walking the dog

Precious Moment

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There wasn’t anything particularly special about my taking on the afternoon chores after work yesterday, other than it is usually Cyndie who fills that role on days I commute to the far side of the Twin Cities. She was on adventures of her own in the Cities yesterday, so I changed clothes when I got home and took Delilah out for a walk.

The rain shower I had driven through to get home had moved on but it had soaked things enough that the trees were subsequently dripping almost as fast as drops fall from a rain cloud.

Delilah veered off the trail in pursuit of some enticing scent. I had no intention of following her and stood my ground until she figured it out and retraced her steps back to me. She is so funny in the way her face communicates that she understands the drill and quickly resumes her position on the trail ahead of me, as if to demonstrate doing so was her plan all along.

When we came around to the barn, she marched inside to the spot we always hook her leash to and waited patiently while I tended to the horses.

They were all calm and quiet, and a little wet from the rain. After I dumped manure on the compost pile and came back to collect their empty feed pans, Swings approached me at the fence. I offered some scratches and a little loving attention.

She soaked it up and stayed engaged with me for an extended session.

The longer she lingered, the more I wanted to love her up with scratches and massage.

It became difficult to tell who was doing the loving and who was on the receiving end. The warmth was definitely flowing in both directions.

It was a truly precious equine moment.

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Written by johnwhays

October 8, 2021 at 6:00 am

Morning Walk

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I recorded a portion of yesterday’s walk, capturing Delilah’s routine of pouncing the snow in search of a snack. No critters were harmed in the making of this movie.

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Written by johnwhays

January 23, 2016 at 7:00 am

Wonderful Adventures

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We enjoyed a fabulous day of wonderful adventures on the first day of 2016 up in the woods of northern Minnesota with our friends Barb and Mike. I captured some evidence.

We went for a walk in the woods of their nearby property…

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We went for a walk on their lake. It is a very, very deep water lake, and only recently froze over. We mostly stayed close to the shore. The ice thickness was reported as being just enough to support foot traffic, but nothing beyond that yet.

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DSCN4310eI wore my festive hat that the Morales family bought for me when they visited us at Wintervale a couple of Christmases ago. Perfect!

We topped off the incredible day with a visit to a neighboring property where I experienced two amazing firsts. This family hosts an annual New Year celebration with their own custom fireworks show. I have never stood that close to a show that was that big and that spectacular. I’m happy to report, we all survived unscathed. Did I mention it was spectacular?

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Too bad my hasty attempt at capturing one of the explosions with my pocket camera didn’t do it the justice it deserves.

The other first for me was witnessing this brilliant design for burning a one log fire in a vertical position. What amazed me was that I hadn’t come across this before in my 56 years of existence. I want to make some!

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Written by johnwhays

January 2, 2016 at 10:13 am

Winter Walk

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I haven’t been pulling the camera out very much lately because of the wind chill that will cause your flesh to freeze and shatter like glass in seconds, as the fear-mongering news reports seem to imply. It doesn’t really happen that way, so I risked cold fingers and stopped during a mid-day walk with Delilah a couple of days ago to capture our scene.

It reminded me how much I like having visual records of what I see. I should do this more.

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Written by johnwhays

January 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

Walking Partner

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The best thing I can do for my back is go for a walk, so as soon as I got home from work yesterday, I headed out with Delilah for a little stroll around the property. She is very entertaining to walk with this time of year. The snow is deep enough that she struggles mightily to make progress through areas of undisturbed accumulation, quickly resorting to leaping like a deer to pounce over, instead of plowing through it.

She is happy to follow the trails left by the deer, or where someone has previously walked, sprinting to get way ahead of me, and then turning to see if I’m still coming. She shows intense interest in the scents lingering in the footprints left by the deer, and spends protracted moments in olfactory detection. If I somehow manage to catch up and pass her, she bolts to close the gap and then leaps into the deep snow for several pounces to get around me before reclaiming the trail.IMG_iP0473e

We came upon the pine tree that we picked up off the ground a few times last spring, and discovered it is showing signs of not having survived. It is one of several that aren’t looking so good, and has me thinking we should be planning to do some tree planting come spring so that we add more than we lose every year. We are already behind, because a similar pine on the front side of the house died last winter and had to be cut down.

While I was taking pictures of the tree, Delilah got in some small-game hunting beneath the snow.

IMG_iP0480eShe didn’t come up with anything except a face full of snow, which I attempted to capture before she shook it all off. I didn’t get much cooperation from her in terms of posing for photographs, but I think this does it justice.

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I was lucky that the deep snow tired her out enough that she reached her fill of being outside at about the same time I was reaching my tolerance limit for walking. On this day, the deep snow and my ailing back ended up balancing our walking partnership perfectly.

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Written by johnwhays

February 11, 2014 at 7:00 am

Training Walk

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It was just going to be a simple walk with our dog. I was barefoot, so I stepped into my clogs and off we went. Earlier in the day, Delilah had chewed two places on the web of her retractable leash, to within a few fibers of severing it entirely, so now we were using the straight leash that maintains constant contact. I think that inspired Cyndie to bring treats and a training clicker, to work on Delilah’s lessons for following commands.

IMG_0052eDelilah is so strong, when she sets her sights on a goal, and is fixated on getting there, she can practically pull us off our feet. Most often, it is rabbits that command her strongest reaction, but she seems to also have a thing for flying creatures: moths, butterflies, and birds.

As soon as we got under way, I spotted a rabbit down the driveway, seated right on the edge of the pavement. I suggested to Cyndie that we choose the opposite direction. She reacted quickly to turn Delilah around and took the opportunity to engage her in some training exercises. When we got to the back yard, Lilah immediately spotted a bird hopping around on the ground, and Cyndie was put to work trying to hold on against the pull.

We picked a trail through the woods, and headed toward the paddocks, so I could show off the work I did earlier in the day, digging out the space where we will put one of our round pens for working with the horses. Cyndie had Lilah running some circles, as if she were a horse.

We made our way toward the end of the driveway, with Lilah chasing the occasional white moth, and decided to return on the freshly cut trail across from the hay-field. Delilah appeared to having a great time, maybe calming down a bit from all the exercise. After we turned the corner, I suggested we try getting her to respond to one of the commands. I got the clicker ready, and Cyndie was digging for a treat, when I glanced down the trail and spotted a skunk.

I hollered, “Skunk!”

Cyndie reported that Delilah was aware of it. I figured we’d have to fight her to get her to turn around with us. We turned to hustle back the way we had come. In the distance, I saw the white tail stand straight up.

All my momentum was headed south when Lilah, in her convenient effort to join us in retreat, stepped on the heel of my clog, giving me the equivalent of a “flat tire.” My body kept going, but my shoe stayed behind.

“Delilah stepped on my shoe!” I complained as I hopped around trying to reclaim it.

We burst into laughter over my predicament, Delilah’s hasty retreat, and the circus our simple walk had become.

I don’t know why, but for the remainder of the walk back to the house, Delilah wanted nothing to do with any command training.

Written by johnwhays

July 30, 2013 at 7:00 am