A wise friend once pointed out that my bonds with my dogs have always been built through our shared adventures. Many of you know that hiking in the high mountains is my favorite kind of adventure. When Shyla arrived in late August, I wasn't sure if there would be enough snow-free time to take her up high above the trees this season or not. We lucked out - it hasn't snowed substantially yet.
Before any big hikes, Shyla needed to get a little stronger and to get tougher paw pads when she arrived. Those physical changes happened very fast with our active lifestyle and her puppy metabolism. She also needed to get comfortable enough with me and with our world to venture high in the mountains. That was a slower process but our trainer and I thought that she was ready to try it. Yesterday, I began the hike with the attitude that we might need to turn around very early if Shyla wasn't happy.
It rapidly became clear that Shyla was in her element.
Shyla forgot about it in an instant. She was in her element and nothing was going to throw off her stride. We climbed fast and soon were above treeline.
A Paul Simon song ("The Boxer") came on the radio. It felt so nostalgic - the past and the future intertwined. My K had joyfully done the same hike so many times with me, and now Shyla was capturing my heart as she embraced the mountains that I love so much. Somehow, the lyrics seemed to fit my mixed up feelings.
Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin' even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I'll be, that's not unusual
No it isn't strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same...
Li la li...