Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Three Walk Signals

Border collies never, ever, choose the couch over a chance to go outside for an adventure.

My pack is finely tuned to any sign that I'm going to take them outside -- and to what our itinerary will be.

"Okay" means that we're going on a walk around our farm.

When I say, "Okay," five sleeping Border collies jump up and run to the back door.

If I want to get them dancing, I pick up the leashes.

That means we're going for a walk at the farm across the road. The prospect of a longer walk around a pond is definitely better than just a regular walk.

Unfortunately, thanks to snow, short days and wicked wind, we don't do as many of those in the winter months. Instead, I've taken the dogs cross country skiing with me.

And, they recognize that sign. When I lace up my cross country boots, they whine and dance.

Because walks in snow are more interesting than walks on frozen ground. When I ski, I take them in hay fields and along the woods. For them, it's a chance to make snow angels, hunt for mice, race through the snow.

Mickey doesn't seem to mind that the snow is getting deeper.She is my snow angel queen. She'll be walking along, bury her nose in the snow, roll onto her back and wiggle.

Tag, as always, stays close. Snowballs seem to love his soft fur.

Caeli is a dog of perpetual motion, dashing from one end of the woods to the other, racing through snow drifts, burrowing her nose in search of mice, and attempting to herd any rabbit that she finds. She is shown here after the walk. Yes, her tongue is hanging out. She is tired.

(Note: Why only three dogs pictured, you ask? It's a lot more difficult to referee dogs while skiing. So, for the sake of harmony, I do two ski trips -- one with the furry, older trio and the other one with the 2-year-old smooth-coated kids.)

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