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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sliding into winter...

Today was another gift - warm, sunny, and beautiful. This is so rare in November, and it truly reminds me to delight in the moment rather than worrying about the future.

Shyla greeted the sunrise.
I love sunrise time in the winter because it is peaceful. Shyla and I have the world to ourselves.
While we watched the sunrise, Shyla demonstrated what has become one of her favorite tricks. When she and R start to play, I've always taken off their collars. Being a "genius dog", Shyla has figured out how to deftly remove R's collar (by gently opening the quick-release). Then, she brings it to me. She carries it to me just like in the photo below. It makes me laugh every time. Perhaps my laughter is enough reward for Shyla to keep doing it.
Unfortunately, R has not been motivated to learn how to remove Shyla's collar so I still have a job when they start to play (removing Shyla's collar). We've tried breakaway collars but they "break away" within minutes of the start of play every single time so they aren't much use.

This morning, after we enjoyed sunrise, we headed off for our usual mountain bike ride. Shyla's nose was immediately working in overdrive and her body language screamed "wildlife"!
In fact, even I could smell the small elk herd that was nearby. So, Shyla was relegated to a "heel" next to my bike to make sure that she didn't chase any of the beautiful animals. Someday, she'll be as reliable as R, who simply doesn't chase wildlife - after all these years of training. For his whole life, he's gotten a jackpot of treats when he turns away from tempting wildlife and comes to us. We're doing the same with Shyla but the routine is not as ingrained for her yet. I have to keep her nearby so the lure of the wildlife doesn't overwhelm her good sense.

As I rode with Shyla by my side, I spotted a splash of color in the forest, a rarity these days. It was a lingering wild geranium leaf that was spotlighted by the sunshine.
I love the colors of the forest and they become more precious as the forest colors are muted during winter.

I know one thing for sure - winter sunsets are the best! Tonight, the sky lit up in bright orange while the dogs and I hiked. The entire world was embued with that gorgeous hue.
Because I couldn't bear to start hiking home until the sunset was over, the dogs and I ended up hiking home through a moonlit meadow. A wonderful ending to the day...


  1. just beauty all around. :) love that she unsnaps the collar! smartie!

  2. That is so cute that Shyla takes off R's collar!

    Our sunrises/sunsets here on the East Coast are usually quite boring compared to yours!

  3. There is so much to like here. First, that is a great wave. And taking off the collar, priceless!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy and Stanley

  4. Your world is so stunningly beautiful!

  5. What a beautiful day from start to finish! I love it! Shyla carrying R's collar to you cracked me up. She's quite the clever little thing, there's no doubt about that. I think back to Blueberry and having us laugh was definitely enough motivation for her, so perhaps Shyla feels the same way.

  6. Shyla is so smart. I love the first picture with her paw up in the air. I am glad you are enjoying your days before the snows come your way.

    Anne and Sasha

  7. From start to finish - a great day! It's been warm here this week (40's), and we're losing snow fast. I keep hoping for a storm, while enjoying the sunshine. Shyla is definitely a genius!

  8. We are enjoying some warm weather too. So nice, and I said the other day it was a gift. We spent today driving to Jackson Hole, and back again. Long day, but we saw a wonderful sunset that I had to pull over and watch.

  9. Love all the photos, but the two that struck me the most are Shyla with r's collar and the one with her nose in the air. The focus on the nose is perfect. :)

  10. You write so eloquently. I can feel your emotions through your writing. Bravo.

    Keep up with Shyla's training. Beamer has "leave it" down to an art form from early training. I'm so glad I started his training as soon as I got him as a pup :)

  11. Good Morning!
    Here its 7.30 AM and we dont have a great sunrise. Its grey and foggy. I have a day off and are preparing some hours of training with our dachshunds. I Think Ayla will have it.
    Beautiful Pictures and I love the morning colours you have.
    Have a great weekend!

  12. superbly stunning sky colours. a silhouette, collars in play, and leaf that says " Do you know winter is almost here", lovely post, your photos and words warm my heart. Cheers, Jean.

  13. Girl, Shyla is much more than a genius...I not has word, but I am in total amazement dat her can take R's collar off. I has nevers even heard of a dog doin' dat.
    Dat last foto of Shyla is spectacular!


  14. You are so smart, Shyla! We love that picture of R's collar in your mouth!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  15. Shyla your wave on such a glorious day is an inspiration for us all, to enjoy the outdoors.-x-

  16. Shyla is one smart pooch ~~~ unlatching one of those collars ~~ very cool. The vibrant warm colours smothering your landscape must make you feel so good inside. I hold onto all the colour I can find this time of year....just like that geranium leaf.

  17. Opening the collar is a great trick! So smart Shyla!

  18. We just love seeing your beautiful photo's!

    That's so amazing that Shyla can take off R's collar. She is becoming Wonder Dog :)

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  19. Beautiful photos, of course:)

    We hear you may have some big snow coming this weekend, while we are due for bad t-storms and hail:(

    Collars are a problem here too. Ciara gets hers caught on the no-sibe fence, or if that doesn't happen, Lightning is very good about removing it for her. And then he proceeds to chew it. Silly boy.

  20. Hi Y'all!

    Oh what a beautiful day!

    Shyla is just practicing getting things for you, just like you taught her. Of course she's showing off her genius and proving she's really your little helper.

    A magical world!

    Y'all come back now!
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  21. That Shyla!! :)
    I am so jealous of Shyla's dexterity! This year I had to replace all the goat collars (they ONLY wear collars when they are tied, so I have to put them on and take them off at least once daily) because those press-clips had become painfully difficult for me to open. Took a while, but I found simple nylon buckle collars made in the US. I'll bet Shyla could open those just using the power of her mind! ;)


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