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Monday, June 9, 2014

A Classic Spring Day

We had a rainy weekend, by our standards. It was gray, foggy, misting, and downright raining for the whole weekend except early both mornings. Then, last night we had a freeze (and it was still below freezing for Shyla's and my bike ride this morning). Many wildflowers had frozen water droplets all over them this morning. Fortunately, they are adapted to cope with our wild spring weather.
Shyla had a rough start to our morning bike ride because we ran into some dogs (with their human) who sometimes scare her. They definitely scared her this morning - more than usual. The hard part with Shyla is that, when she's scared, it's hard to get her to move away from the dogs or people that are scaring her. Her fear reaction is to freeze. This morning, she truly froze when the dog owner yelled at his dogs. His voice really put her over threshold.

Her "freeze reaction" makes my job tough, as her guide through the scary stuff in life. My usual technique is to stop, squatting down next to her, waiting for the scary thing to leave. I hope that someday she can just trot on past the scary dogs/people but, alas, that goal may be too high for Shyla.

After they were gone, I tried to build up her confidence with a mini-training session, just doing the tricks that she loves to do. Like this one...
With the fun training and lots of praise/rewards, I eventually built up her confidence enough that we could ride up to Hug Hill. Look at her sleek form. We've declared her diet to be finished! Our vet's requirement is that you can see the back two ribs on an active dog like Shyla, and they are definitely visible now! Yahoo!
While we were on top of Hug Hill, I could see a new layer of snow all over the mountains behind Shyla. The rain at our elevation was clearly snow up there. I think that it may be July before we can hike anyplace very high.
After my ride with Shyla, I headed out for some more riding. It was sunny, after all - a day to be seized! I rode on my favorite ridge, which is at the height of its wildflower glory right now.
While I was there, I tried to photograph some of the individual flowers covering the ground but they were so tightly packed together that many flowers sneaked into the picture.
Then, on my way home from the ridge, I crossed a wet area, and I saw that Shooting Star wildflowers are in bloom. I love these magenta beauties!
Today was Springtime at its finest. A cool start to the day, a fun ride with Shyla, and amazing wildflowers.

Oh yes, and the mountain lion photos on my trail camera... I'll save those for someday soon.


  1. Gorgeous macro of the purple flower, Shyla, I too, would be a little scared if a strange man shouted, not knowing if it was for me or his own dogs. It sounds as though the tricks work well, she really has come so far with her way ( and your help) to manage a frightening situation. If only they could talk!! Cheers,Jean

  2. beautiful day - with a freeze (of weather and poor shyla's, too) to start!

  3. Beautiful wildflower shots!!

    So sorry about Shyla's issues on the hike. Dory gets a bit nervous around strange dogs, but she does keep moving. Shyla is lucky to have such an understanding and loving "Mama"

  4. Shyla looks great! It's so nice to see a fit lab.

  5. Shyla's looking really great!

    Such beautiful wildflowers where you live. I think that just seeing them would cheer me up after a long winter.

    What a great dog "mom" you have been to Shyla, helping her restore her confidence. She's very lucky to have someone so understanding to help her through this.

    Behr's mom :)

  6. It's a worry when dogs are scared.

    Also, we don't think we have any ribs in this family...BOL!

    XXXOOO Bella Roxy & Dui

  7. Love the wildflower shots! Hugs to you, Shyla. You are such a beautiful girl!

  8. Shyla looks perfect! So great to have a vet that understands the typical weight of a lab is way too plump!!!

  9. I don't know which is prettier, the flowers or Shyla!

  10. How beautiful! I'm so sorry Shyla had a rough morning, but I'm thankful she has you to guide her past her anxiety.

  11. Poor Shyla. At least you could get her going again, that's a good sign.

  12. Hi KB, Our weather has been so weird hasn't it. Today will be in the high 80's, which is perfect summer weather in my book. The rain and fog here on Saturday and Sunday made it feel like we were back on the west coast. I am ready for the warm weather to hang around-maybe not really warm as I know all the snow will melt and cause flooding issues. It sounds like you are feeling better(but you are never really better are you?), if so I'm very happy for you. Hope you continue to see those glorious wildflowers. Hunter is doing better but I'm realizing I need to watch his expressions to know if he is uncomfortable with some dogs.
    Have a great day my friend!

  13. I so wish I could just blink my eyes and be on that beautiful trail with the snowy mountains in the background!

  14. Gorgeous post rain day. Hmmm I guess freezing in place is not as bad as fear aggression. Maybe?
    Lily & Edward

  15. Freezing??? I really need to move...

  16. That would be a wonderful trail for me and Stanley! Beautiful pics as always!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  17. Oh, those gorgeous meadows and wildflowers. Must be such a treat after the snowy winter.

  18. every photo, every word you say is beautiful,

  19. Hi Y'all,

    Poor Shyla. She is so lucky to have you.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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