Tracking in the Snow

Out with the broom yesterday clearing the walks. The snow was light and dry, but it’s still snow. A balmy -3 when I got up this morning. You can be sure this big cup of coffee is welcome!

Bear and I took off for a jaunt yesterday. It’s always fun to walk in the snow, even more fun with Bear. Added to that, anywhere around here, out of town, which isn’t far in any direction, there are animals. During the non-snow seasons I can’t tell what my dogs are tracking/smelling, but on snow I get to share a little in the experience. I learned that the people who live at the refuge — rangers, caretakers — walk their dogs where I walk Bear and THAT’S what’s fascinated her so much all this time along that leg of the walk. I learned where they stop and turn around, too. Beyond that the snow was fairly pristine; only tire tracks from Saturday, drifted over lightly.

Here’s what we saw:

Bear pushes her nose through the snow like she’s reading a book.

She’s a special dog, but I’ve told you that before. She gets snowballs on her pads, and, when she does, she lies down and looks at me. I clean out each foot, and she stands up and we go on our way. I am so well trained I’m even inspired by it sometimes. Many dogs can’t stand having their feet touched let alone the kind of mangling that goes with pulling snow balls out from between the pads. Sure, I taught her to let me touch her feet, but this is beyond that. This is trust. The first couple of years of her life, that was not her behavior, and I had to compel her to let me clean out her feet. It’s something she’s learned.

In other news, as we were walking yesterday, I found myself running. Not far, not much, but I really thought I’d forgotten how. It was a disturbing, even a little scary, disorienting. I did not think I was physically able to run, and I am? It brought up a different question which is, “Should I?” No. Running is absolutely totally universally discouraged by orthopedic surgeons for people with hip and knee replacements because running leads the prostheses to wear out sooner and makes replacement of the replacement more likely. My goal is to keep the two I have. One of them has been in there for 15 years. Running is how I got here in the first place.

Running — so much has been written about it, it’s kind of crazy. I don’t want to write a more other than to say that it is worth not running now or ever again to have run the trails I did, and I’m glad I still know how and that the choice is mine. ❤

Featured Photo: Mt. Blanca which is about 45-50 miles away. A huge massif that was a volcano billions of years ago. It’s the fourth highest mountain in Colorado and one of the Navajo’s sacred mountains. You can learn more here.

14 thoughts on “Tracking in the Snow

  1. Thirty-six this morning but feels like 26. You know–freezing! 🥶 😅 Why is it that WP bumped me off this blog again, but I’m still following your other blog? And the weirdness continues…

  2. Bear is smart, and has learned who to trust. Ophelia will stop and wait for me to clear snowballs from her paws, but at other times she is not fond of me touching her paws.

  3. The snowballs between the pads is painful to walk with so letting you remove them is a huge sign of trust and love even! I love the description of Bear “reading” the snow!

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