Wow. It has been a short month. And a short year, for that matter. Oh, when I reflect on my comings and goings of 2007, it seems very full indeed. It's just that when I remember back to early January without snow, ice fishing in March, Spring and Summer trips to the far north in search of "the big one," and the wane of summer into fall, it all feels like yesterday.
This year we have snow in December. My walks with the dogs take a little longer and a little more effort. I'll have to break out the snowshoes soon. But the dogs will persist in taking me on their walk each day. Their routine rules in this household.
Last Sunday I took off my mittens to use my camera. Later, about 400 feet down the trail, I discovered I was missing one mitten. After traversing that 400 feet many times I could not find it. Now my big black lab, Styx, has a reputation as a thief. In fact, his nickname is Boo Boo because, while he has a big heart and wants to be good, he just can't. So I was pretty sure he was the reason I could not find my mitten. I searched my trail and every spot along the trail where dog prints wandered into the woods. I went home with only one mitten and it snowed heavily that night. On Monday, I gave Boo Boo a stern talking to and we made a beeline for that same spot on the trail. The big brat went right to the base of a pine tree and dug up the mitten he had buried the day before.
I'm never too angry with him. Years ago the vet told me his hips were so bad he'd likely have to be put down by the time he was five- or six-years-old. He'll be eight this coming May and manages three to six miles a day with me. His energy is boundless and I'm so grateful I didn't spend the last few years fretting and in fear of his outcome. I did, however, spoil him rotten and I'm gladly paying the price now.