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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today is precious

I had planned on telling you about Shyla's training progress today but I'm too tired. I'll save the training update for Thursday.

Today, I woke up thinking of K. I thought about the biggest lesson that I learned from her in the last parts of her life. That lesson is that today is the only day that matters. Seize it, make the most of it, and don't go to bed wondering if you lived a worthwhile day. Rather, go to bed so tired that you cannot stay awake for another instant because you made the most of every part of the day.

In that spirit, Shyla and I were out for sunrise. I am taking a daily photo of the fiery orb as it crests the eastern peaks. Last year, a reader asked me what date the sun rose exactly between the two tallest peaks in the photo below. I didn't know the answer but I plan to find out this year. It's gradually moving in that direction (north - or left in the photo), and it should get there before too long.
It was a red sun, casting weak light just at sunrise, rendering Shyla very red.
The sun rapidly became stronger, and Shyla did a downward dog toward it.
After the sun was fully up, I practiced recalls with Shyla. I barely talk about these in our training updates because she is so enthusiastic and reliable about them. Despite that, I practice them daily with her, rewarding her with a jackpot for a fast recall. Her face was etched with the effort she was putting into sprinting to me as fast as possible.
Yesterday, one of you asked about the bells hanging from both dogs' collars. The bells serve two purposes. They forewarn wildlife that we are in the area, minimizing the chance of a meeting. We bought dog bells after K chased a bear during a hike about 8 years ago... and that hasn't happened again since we got the bells. The bells also help me to know where Shyla is, especially when she's behind me. I have a section of my neck surgically fused so it's hard to twist my head to look for her behind me.

Part of the reason why we practice recalls incessantly is so that we can call the dogs away from wildlife. Here was another recall from this morning. Shyla took the most direct route to me even though it involved leaping off a boulder.
After a busy day that included socialization training for Shyla in town, I took both dogs for a sunset hike, and they played with utter abandon.
We watched the sun set and the sky light up like it was on fire. I'll save those photos for tomorrow.

And, now I am exhausted. K would be proud of me, for I squeezed every last drop of fun out of this day that I could. Today is the only day that matters.


  1. That's the perfect way to spend life!

  2. Today, 23rd January 2013, our grand-daughter's 11th birthday. KB, your words mean so much.Beautiful photos,today, always. Greetings from Jean.

  3. Does this include 40 below zero wind chill days?

    Just checking!

    Beautiful pics, hugs to the Black Prince and Shyla, oh, and YOU.


  4. Your words are being held close to our heart. These words were exactly what our ears needed to hear today- this moment.
    Thank you for thinking back about what K taught you- thank you for sharing the words- they were ment for us,,,, they truly were and it means so much to us - that you said them.
    thank you
    tweedles and mommy

  5. Beautiful photos as always. MOM got me a bell last year. And when we are deep in the woods I wear it for the very reasons you mentioned. Being "dog" tired at the end of the day is a good thing, a very good thing. As we are at this moment. While MOM has a bit more work to do. I will settle in next to her and dream sweet dreams of a day seized.

  6. I'm glad you mentioned the bells. I've been wondering about that for some time but hesitated to ask, like maybe I could find it somewhere else on your blog.

    I just moved to MT and we're doing way more off-leash hiking than we've ever had access to previously. I'm considering getting a bell because my dog, Elli, recently ran clear over to the opposite side of a mountain we were hiking without me in an effort to track some deer. She didn't find them. And recalled extremely well (whistle), considering. So now I'm considering taking extra caution -- knowing where she is at all times seems a good idea. We, too, practice recalls every single day now.

  7. What a beautiful place to train and learn all new stuff
    Benny & Lily

  8. K was running right beside you in spirit. Shyla looks so beautiful in the sunlight, well always but especially in the sunlight.

    Anne and Sasha

  9. We enjoyed catching up with Shyla's progress and the growth in her relationship with R and with you. Hope you can spring for your own telephoto lens: the photos of the coyote were astounding.

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  11. I love that lesson, and it's one to take to heart! I'm glad you did K proud today. Sometimes it's hard fore me to remember that Shyla is still so young, because she always looks like an old soul in her photos.

  12. I always love the chocolate lab in the early sun pictures. Shyla sure has a nice recall. We've been working on Millie's recall too, but we only go off leash in the back yard (it is one acre fenced). She is doing real well. Today my husband was able to recall her from a dead rabbit she found in the yard. I love seeing our pups grow.


  13. Your posts alway leav me with a desire to make more of my tomorrow. So when tomorrow is today, I want to be Shyla in heart, you in mind and Bert in body. put that all together and it means....Seize the Day.

  14. Thanks for the reminder about a life lesson that is so important! We, too, are proud of you and your shimmering girl.

  15. LOVE this post! You're right - each day is so very precious, KB!

  16. More beauty and more smiles!

    Once again, THANKS!

  17. Beautiful photos and words to live by!

    Susan and Wrigs

  18. Think of only one day at a time and then live it to the fullest. That's a great way to think!

    That's wonderful that Shyla listens so well. Living in an area with lots of dangerous wildlife, a good recall is most important.

  19. What a great post, KB... and a lesson taught... to me too!


  20. Shyla is such a beeYOUtiful dog! I'm so glad you've been sharing her journey with us.

  21. Sweet, bootiful K taught all of us so much and this is pawhaps the most impawtant lesson I know she is smiling fwom heaven as the sun shines on you and Shyla
    thank you fow weminding us
    smoochie kisses

  22. Such good reminders for all of us! Sometimes life gets busy and takes us away from the true meaning of it.

    A beautiful post today KB!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  23. Thank you for answering our question about the bells!

    The lessons that our friends teach us are precious beyond words. Always.

  24. Any hints for recalls when you need to go to work, your dog knows it, and she knows that means going into her crate until she's let out again at noon? Even waving turkey slices in the air doesn't work!

  25. The bells are such a good idea. When I take my horse hacking in the woods I always sing or talk really loud to scare the deer and coyotes away. My neighbour keeps bells on the goats next door too :)

  26. Great pictures as usual, Shyla and R are so qute.
    We have now this eveninge -17C. Our dogs do their busines quick and dont stay out at all

  27. We try to do that. It can be hard, but I love the days where we succeed in doing it.


  28. That is one crazy recall face! BOL!

  29. I do so love all of your pictures. "Downward dog" to the sunrise was amazing, and so was her face in the recall picture (I tend to call things like that "freak face", which is not meant to be derogatory in the slightest, I assure you).

  30. I think K is more than just proud of you. I think she's with you in spirit more than you may know. Love like that never truly leaves us.


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