Artic Running Rules, and Rocky Sequel (The puppy not the movie)

It is another Saturday afternoon and every Connecticut Yankee is awaiting the arrival of our latest storm. I think this will be the third blog in a row written with wintry precipitation falling or on its way. The last two weekends brought frigid arctic winds to the fields where we run. Not much bothers these long haired Goldens due to their thick double coat.

So when deciding how cold is too cold to be out, I’ve come up with two simple rules. When I can’t feel my fingers anymore, or don’t have enough feeling to snap some photos, that is rule number one. I stayed out a little too long last weekend, and the pain of rewarming my hands after coming inside was not pleasant. The second rule is triggered when ice starts sticking to their pads. At that point the dogs spend more time cleaning their pads than enjoying the outdoors, so in we go.

Usually my hands give out before their pads ice up, so I have to make sure we keep up a brisk pace to get their energy expended as quick as possible. Not good for me and my “to do list” if they are still rambunctious when we return home.

Why venture outside at all? one might well ask. Well, the solitude is amazing for one thing.

There is absolutely no one else around to impede our adventure and enjoyment of nature’s frozen bounty. The silence, except for the soft whisper of the wind, is such a pleasant change from every other daily activity that seems to involve noise, lights, and conversation. The closest analogy I can make is to find yourself at the top of a ski mountain in a snowstorm where no one else is visible. Just you and the mountain. A feeling of peace steals over you and you feel closer to the earth, the sky, and God.

Of course there is always the danger of falling or sliding out there. And that is not just limited to humans. This morning Emma got careless and slid down the entire hill on her side.

Glare ice beats dog nails any day.

The other news here in dogville, is that Rocky has returned!!

Barb met our son half way between ourselves and Philadelphia (where he was attending MBA classes . It’s amazing that there is a website that will find that midpoint for you). Michael Jr is swamped finishing his MBA, closing out his present job, and starting all the needed tasks to get to Italy and his new position.   Rocky has adjusted very well to the pack, although his mom, Emma,  growls at him from time to time.

Barb thinks he is the “perfect puppy” and won’t let me take him with the rest of the pack to learn bad habits! Last night was his first night back in our house. He slept until 4 AM in his crate in the family room, but then started barking. This, of course, roused the pack sleeping in our bedroom. I got up and let everyone out. Rocky went upstairs with Barb and promptly fell asleep on the bed. Meanwhile I had the five awake and hungry and wanting to run. So I got a lot of work done between 4 AM and 8. We can’t run in the dark with the ice as I will surely fall and break something important.

I took Rocky out by himself after the older girls were done with their exercise.

So there you have our latest news.

I have no clue where Riley’s heat is, now two months overdue. I am sure Rocky as young as he is will clue us in when there is love in the air…

Now a final photo of the dogs waiting for that coming snowfall today…