“It takes a long time for a soul to become this sweet.”
After many a prairie winter, the first snow is still a pivotal event, one that leaves me feeling in awe and, at the same time, in a bit of a dither. This year the white morning arrived totally unannounced, with barely a frosty morning as a prelude. I kind of liked it that way.
With only warmer temps and abundant sunshine in the foreseeable forecast, enjoying the white morning was a given.
Perhaps more fun for some than others.
Lacie loves the snow. Coco… not so much, even though he got to wear his nifty red sweater with the comfy turned up collar.
With the absence of Jack Frost providing a first act, the flowers were caught a little off guard… but still appeared very dapper in their new flurry top hats.
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found? – JB Priestley
Autumn has arrived. There is a new coolness to our morning walks, the landscape now tinted with yellow and orange.
This time of year we share the field with many geese.
Can I mom?
Go for it!
After Lacie’s walk it is Coco’s turn… more a study in meditation than anything else. My sweet old man turned 15 this past January. He is deaf and his vision is poor… but his enjoyment is 100%.
“Some of our greatest treasures we place in museums. Others we take for walks.”
It may be the beginning of March but it is still very much winter here in Manitoba.
Lacie does not care what the season… as long as someone is willing to toss her favourite toy for her to fetch.
Coco, on the other hand, is dreaming of spring. Me too… truth be told.
Lacie is a sweet bundle of energy. She runs like the wind, the new soft snow only adding to her fun.
Coco is a little less enthused about having to deal with these still wintery conditions… but he does seem to enjoy the new warmth in the sun ( not to mention the occasional treat that is dropped in his path ).
Coco turned 14 years this January. He is entitled to his occasional grumpy-face.
Here he is… peeking from behind the snowbank, watching his sister run. One can imagine him shaking his little head in befuddlement at her antics.
“Is it time to go in now?”
Bear waits for us inside. The sun streaming through the window has enticed him to stick his nose out the door more than a couple of times (you never know… the weather may have improved in the the past 5 minutes) but the chill is still too much for this old gent. Soon Bear… soon.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
At the time, my current fur-family consisted of three seniors… Bear the Manx cat (14), Coco the Shih Tzu (13) and Sadie the English Springer Spaniel (13). These three owned my heart and being seniors, they all needed that little extra touch of attention that many older pets do. The thought of adding a new “fur kid” to our pack was not even a consideration.
It was Friday and I was doing what I do every Friday… setting up to photograph the “new” dogs at Winnipeg Animal Services… the ones that would be vet checked that day and then placed in the adoption program.
As is my usual routine, I had scribbled down the pen numbers and description of today’s dogs. Paper and pen in hand I entered the kennel room to do my walk about… saying “hello” to the dogs I already knew and stopping at each of the five new pup’s pens to verify their data.
Pen #30 was the second last one on my list – unspayed female, 3-5 years, spaniel mix, shy. And there she was… curled up at the back of her kennel, tail tucked, barely making eye contact as I knelt down and quietly introduced myself through the links of her pen gate. “I will be back”, I told her as I headed off to get ready for the photo session.
It was late June and the day held the promise of summer… warm, sunny. Since the sessions were done in the outdoor enclosure I took my time.. relaxing for me, a real break for the dogs.
Soon it was Pen 30’s turn. As I opened the gate to her pen, she slowly edged forward, still hovering low but with an ever so slight wag to her still tucked tail. Once in the kennel I crunched down and looked away, speaking softly, a small soft treat set to entice in the open palm of my hand.
Slowly she inched forward and I was able to reach over and slip a lead over her ears. She followed me out, still cautious, still unsure, but willing to give me a little bit of trust.
“Poor baby” I thought. “How sad to be so afraid”.
Once outside, her nose became busy with the many new smells. Slowly her ears relaxed and fell forward.
Time for me to turn the camera to on and bring out my little pink squeaker ball.
Well, let me just say… the first squeak of that ball was a total game changer. As I tossed the ball, the shy unsure shelter dog went “poof” and this alert, bouncy little girl instantly took her place. I kept tossing and she kept bringing the ball back. Photos were snapped and we simply kept on playing.
Unexpectedly the door from the building opened and Lorna, the adoption coordinator, my friend and mentor, walked into the outdoor enclosure, smiling.
“Hay Colleen, I have been watching you two from inside… there seems to be a real connection here,” she stated, her smile broadening.
“I know Lorna, yes she’s adorable. No new dog for me though. Not right now.”
“OK”, responded Lorna… “but I’m just saying… ”
We laughed, I threw one more toss and then all three of us went inside.
And that was that… or at least that is what I thought.
But the seed had been planted and I started to think… she is a real sweetheart. Could we do it? What would Roland say? How would my three react… Sadie was having a rough go of it these days and the last thing I wanted to do was to stress her in any way. Thoughts swirled.
When I left that day, “no” was still my decision.
That is til I started to process the photos later, on my computer.
“Roland… what would you think about us getting another dog… ?”
And as I stated earlier… enter Lacie.
As it turned out, my concerns on how my pack would react were groundless. Coco was indifferent, Bear just kept being Bear, swiping at Lacie’s tail at every opportunity, and Sadie Girl loved her.
Sadly on August 31st, we said our final good byes to our Sadie Girl. My heart remains heavy at this loss but having said that… I truly believe that Sadie’s last days were happier because of Lacie. Sadie just loved her and would happily follow her where ever she went. Lacie gave Sadie a little bit of unexpected joy and for that I am so grateful. Miss you Sadie Girl… every day.
Six months have come and gone since I first brought Lacie home… and all of us can not imagine our life with out her. Coco and her are now buds and Bear has stopped his tail swiping. Roland and I love her to bits.
Lovely Lacie is home.
It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are. – Author Unknown