Wintry Weekend and Rocky Goes Home

New England certainly got an early taste of winter’s bounty with the cold, ice, and snow this weekend. Not one but two scoops of stormy weather separated by a day’s grace. Our goldens became like puppies again with the snowfall in the backyard.. wrestling, piling on and generally acting like kids on a school cancellation day.

The day’s walks become extra challenging for me. Besides the cold, wind, and ice underfoot, there is the added hazard of not having enough traction to hold them all back when they want to run. I often wonder in these circumstances about trying a dog sled. Besides needing special harnesses and the sled, I have no idea if their builds would allow them to do this safely. So it will just remain a fond dream while I try to keep my shoulders from complaining too loud the day after we have our outdoor adventures.

The red items slung across my chest are extra leashes. It is amazing how often they break after a few months of heavy work on our runs. The metal joints wear out from fatigue. And with everyone in our area seemingly taking their dogs to the high school fields, a broken leash means a possible dog fight and an unhappy Farmington dog owner. There is certainly a whole different awareness you have to have when walking a pack of animals, even those as good natured as golden retrievers.

Our son Michael Jr. and his family flew into New York from Florence, Italy on Friday. We had been keeping their special puppy, Rocky, while they searched for a possible place to live with his upcoming transfer there. Our other son Brian celebrated his 30th birthday on Friday in NYC. To make the weekend even more special, our oldest daughter Lauren flew into NY from San Francisco,  and our daughter Kristen came from Boston with her boyfriend Bobby. We had not had our whole family together for a year so this was a very special afternoon on Saturday. So we packed up Rocky and brought him to the big city. One of our good neighbors, Theresa, was kind enough to donate her apartment for the day for our family to gather together.

Our two grandsons were overjoyed to see their puppy again. Rocky is amazingly tolerant of their young energy and exuberance.

It was very cold walking around the city, but Rocky and I got to experience first hand our first New York City dog park.

Rocky was certainly a people magnet on the streets, bringing good cheer to all the shoppers who stopped to ask how old he was and give him a pat.

Too soon the afternoon ended, and we had to say goodbye to Mike and Emma and their boys and Rocky too. They were leaving for Maryland the next day, and the rest of us had to head back to Connecticut before the second storm arrived.

So it was a very special holiday weekend for our family. We give thanks to our Lord for allowing everyone to travel and arrive safely.

Barb and I had a most enjoyable two weeks babysitting Rocky, who added even more energy to our dog heavy home. We have never owned a male golden before, so I don’t know if it was his “maleness” or his inner personality that just came through. He definitely has a presence about himself that caused him to stand out even though he was at the bottom of the pack hierarchy. We look forward to getting him back temporarily again when our son moves to Italy next year. So stay tuned for more Rocky adventures in 2009.

Barb and I, and Lily, Emma, Solo, Riley, and Lucy wish all of our friends, family, clients, and golden readers a safe, healthy, and merry upcoming holiday week.

Next week the final blog of 2008 and some golden resolutions..