We both reveled in the day. The weather here has been intense recently, with almost daily high winds and awful snow conditions for hiking or biking. So the beauty of today seemed even more precious. I'm so glad that I had the chance to enjoy it!
Our partnership is starting to feel so natural. Shyla seems to read my mind, knowing what I'm about to do and moving with me. I honestly never dreamed that I'd have a partnership with a dog like this again, after K died. I must say, however, that I think that my bond with K helped make me ready for Shyla.
I'm even learning to "read" Shyla's more subtle signals. Today, we were playing on the side of a small ridge, and Shyla very carefully sniffed some animal tracks in the snow. They were huge tracks with a long stride but the wind had destroyed all the details that might have helped me identify them. However, Shyla seemed scared when she sniffed them, with her ears pinned back against her head, like she's done in the past when we've found mountain lion tracks. So, I decided to check some trail cameras later because, based on Shyla's behavior, I was guessing that they were lion tracks.
It turned out that my girl was giving me the right signals. At least one lion and maybe two have gone through our neck of the woods in recent days and multiple cameras captured their images. I'll share those photos tomorrow.
But the point of the story is how connected Shyla and I are becoming - so that I can even read subtle signals from her. It feels like a miracle to me, especially after those early days together when she was so fearful that she rarely even looked directly into my eyes. Now she does it all the time...