SLOW IN THE SNOW
BY ABBY CHARLTON
& Ruby's 2012 Photo Blog
Keeper and Abby are fast in the snow
Sniff, Snuff. Sniff, Sniff, Snuff. Snuff, Snuff, Sniff.
Hey, there's a moose around here!!!!!
Hey, Keeper!! Get over here. There's a moose somewherz!!
Run, Run, Run, Sniff, Snuff, Run, Sniff, Run.
Wherz that moose anyhow? Where'd he go? Let's capture him!!! We could put him in our garage and play with him when we go to bed at night.
Our own pet moose!!!!
Wouldn't that be something? But we gotta catch him first. We can smell him somewherz but he isn't somewherz anymore cause the trail is getting fainter.
I know!!! We're going the wrong way!! Let's double back!!!!
Run, Run, Run and Run and Sniff some more. Run, Sniff, Snuff, Sniff. Aw shucks. He ain't here either.
Gosh darn it. Rick and Carol have gotta keep up. They sure are slow in the snow. We gotta run some more into the trees and they iz yelling at us to slow down and come back but i'ts our mission to capture a moose today and the only way to do that is to run through the trees. Rick and Carol are slow most times because they don't have four paw drive like we got. All they got is them two stumpy legs of theirs and they're always huffing and puffing when we go to capture deers and mooses. They sure are dragging us down. Even worse is they can't even smell the mooses so they aren't even worked up about it. Maybe Rick and Carol just aren't equipped for this type of work.
If there was a way to leave them at home we'd do it!!!
It finally snowed where we are and that's good because we got our winter coats on and it sure is hot when it gets above minus 10. We have to lay on the snow in the shade if it's warmer than that. Why just today, before we got on the trail of that moose, we were way up in the hills, out on the open plains, the sun beating down and it was pretty warm and we was gallooooping up and around and we'd have to stop once in a while and roll in the snow to cool down a bit.
Abby lives simply . . . . . mining for gophers in a snowbank
Aside from wild animals, we're the only dogs and people who go up into the hills - Carol and Rick says we are the only ones with "permission from the farmer" whatever that is. So any tracks we come across are either us or the enemy mooses, coyotes and deer. Sometimes we see some pretty suspicious tracks that might be a cougar cause they are bigger than our paws and look mighty threatening.
On the Lake of Doom, which is now frozen, there was a fight that you can see in the snow and it looks like maybe some coyotes captured a porcupine. Maybe they took him home and put him in their garage too. We've never seen a porcupine yet but a year ago, when I was a puppy and in my youth, I found a porcupine hide and rolled in it and I got porcupine quills stuck in my head and Carol had to take them out with pliers. I didn't mind cause I don't feel pain too much.
Anyways, we went chasing after a coyote a month ago and that sure got Rick and Carol hot and bothered. We was coming down through the Willow Thicket near our house, heading to the Lake of Doom in the Forest of Despair, when from a clear patch I saw a coyote loping along the fence. Not having seen one up close and personal before I decided instant-like to go galloooping after it and Keeper was in for some mischief as well so we was together and the coyote started to run away but then them slow, dumb humans, er . . . . Rick and Carol, came chasing us. So we stopped for a second and waited for them to catch up and then we was set to complete the capture when they grabbed us and held on. Well . . . . . that wasn't supposed to be in the plan. But they don't like us chasing coyotes cause coyotes travel together and they is apparently smart and like to trick farm dogs into chasing them and then a bunch jump the farm dog and eat him but that would never happen to Keeper and me because we are pretty smart too.
Did I tell you about Buddy, my blind friend. Buddy is a border collie and he was living just down the road in a trailer with his owner who is a farmhand. Buddy is blind but he comes to visit anyway and Carol lets him into our yard through the gate but sometimes Buddy walks into fenceposts and such so he has to be careful. He navigates a bit by peeing pretty often and then smelling his way back home. But Buddy moved away a few days ago and that's pretty sad. They're tearing down the trailer Buddy lived in and building a new house so Buddy's master had to move and look for a job.
Too bad cause Buddy was alright.
Hoar frost encrusted morning with Abby
Those neighbour dogs - remember the one's that were chasing me when I was a puppy - were coming to visit quite a bit. Now that I'm big and there are two of us they treat me like an equal. One of them is a collie and he's alright too and he would jump our fence and say hello. And then he would jump out. But then he got his back paw caught on the wire at the farthest post in our yard and he was hanging there yelping and yowling pretty bad. Poor Carol came running down from the house, then went running back up to the garage for wire cutters, then came running down to the far end of the fence to cut him out. And he was yowling and yelping and hanging there the whole time. And she cut him out and he left some blood there but I guess he was alright. But that was the end of the visiting for those guys. They haven't been back since. And Carol was pretty tired from running.
But the neighbour kids come to visit sometimes and they throw balls and give us food and such.
When Rick and Carol went away on their self-centered vacation we got a little bored I guess and we were mostly digging in the tall grass and snuffing and sniffing for entertainment but . . . . . we were putting our noses too close to the ground and we rubbed the black off. So now I got a brown nose and Keeper has one too although not as bad as mine. It's quite the hood ornament but I don't know if it will grow back or not.
Keeper surveys the valley from her Alberta home . . .
I've been gradually bringing a deer skeleton back to the house and chewing it up. First I found a leg with three joints and a hoof and it took me a while to bring it back through the trees but I did it and it tasted real good. It took us weeks to eat it. Lately I've found the spine and skull of the deer all attached as one and I've been thinking of bringing that back but I keep finding it when we're heading out and not when we're coming back so I end up getting bored with it and dropping it. And then I find it again. But someday . . . . I'll get it home and eat it.
Anyways, that moose seems to have made a clean cut getaway. And we smelled some deers around a while ago as well. There was a huge pile of tracks through the snow heading east and Rick said there was 50 elk lying on the side of the hill near our place so it must have been them.
My cat sister Marcie is getting a bit better. She is really old but both Keeper and I are afraid of her. She looks like she might do something crazy when she looks at you. So we keep well back when she's around. But she's alright too so I hope she gets better.
Let's find some moose!!!
Good news. Keeper is learning how to go under barbed wire fences. Last summer she went full bore and 100 mph into a barbed wire fence and bounced off it pretty hard. That was a puzzling thing for her and that kind of accident naturally made her a little wary of fences. Growing up in town didn't appear to give her much of an education. But now she studies the fence up close and then she's careful when she goes through the wire so now she's keeping up and doesn't have to wait for Rick or Carol to hold the wire up for her. So now its only Rick and Carol holding me up.
It sure is hot out. It must be minus 5 degrees. Rick and Carol have found an old log and they're sitting down for a visit out in the hills as I'm dictating this. So Keeper and I have moved off into the shade and we're cooling down in a nice drift of snow.
Now that we are mature - I'm 17 months and Keeper is 19 months - we are taking a more long range view of life. We can see the day when we lose our winter coats and it's summer and pretty hot again. Then we can go swimming in the Lake of Doom or go dive for rocks in the pool at home. Or we can lay in the muck in the stream. And we can see the cows again when the farmer puts them out to pasture for the summer.
That'll be alright. But meantime we're laying in the drift of snow and I'm getting pretty sleepy.
Life is pretty simple if you're a dog.
Walking in the woods . . . .