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Monday, June 16, 2014

Perfect Time of Year

It is the time of year when mountain dwellers like me know how lucky we are. After a long cold winter, we are reaping the rewards.
The world teems with vibrant flowers. The weather is often perfect, around 60-70°F during the day with lots of sunshine.
Shyla and I start each day with our mountain bike ride. We are including a lot of training during our ride each day because Shyla has recently decided to test her limits with me. I've been calling this phase her "terrible twos" (she's two years old).

I think that, as she found more confidence in herself, she started a phase where she no longer automatically followed my cues. Consequently, I've had to rein her in, making her spend some of each mountain bike ride in a "heel" next to my bike. If she breaks out of the heel, I immediately stop my bike, go get her, and put her back in place.  Then, we do a short "heeling" practice session before we go on. With this program, her behavior is improving by the day.
She's my first dog with a timid personality so it's been a novel journey for me. By age two, most of my dogs have had pretty "stable" behavior, where I could trust them in most situations, and we'd reached "unspoken" agreements as to what was acceptable behavior. So, this little "freedom" phase of Shyla's caught me by surprise. Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing as a timid dog has grown up?
With the help of carrying "better" treats and setting very clear rules about what behavior I want from Shyla when off-leash during a bike ride, we're on track again. But we'll keep at the training, so our rides together are fun and safe.

The wildflowers are on track too. This Columbine is in my garden. It was almost open this morning. I spotted one out on the trail that had almost completely opened!! It's almost Columbine season - yipee!
I don't think that I've ever seen a year like this one for Shooting Star flowers. They require lots of moisture. Many of our meadows still have large areas of standing water (partly due to the floods last fall), and these beauties are going crazy. I get home each day with mud all over me, after getting down on the ground to photograph them.
This is my favorite time of year!


  1. Hi KB, I understand about Shyla, simply because as you know, Hunter is a very timid dog as well. He hasn't had issues with not listening and is showing he is not as scared around new people. I love your flowers-so beautiful.
    Columbine has always been one of my favorites.
    Hope your headache is totally gone now.
    Hugs, Noreen

  2. I also meant to say that Shyla's newfound independence shows just how completely comfortable she is and how secure she feels with you. Great job!

  3. just gorgeous blooms! i'm glad shyla is feeling self-confident enough to begin pressing your rules. most dogs do that in their 6 mos. to 1 yr age, so she's a late bloomer. you're so understanding of her. :)

  4. Shooting stars are some of my favorites! I miss them! And the mouse ears, and the wall flowers, and the arnica...sigh. Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing them :) and I giggled about Shyla's naughty moments :) glad she is getting better with more training!

  5. I'm certainly no expert on shy dogs, but it does seem to me that Shyla's "mini rebellion" is a sign of growth. I have a feeling she will settle down soon and make progress in leaps and bounds now that she has found more confidence in herself.

  6. Such beauty! I feel like I say that in every post of yours, but it's true.
    On the freedom thing: while Nola isn't shy, she did go through a "you aren't the boss of me!" phase at around 12 months and then again at 21 months. It sucks, but it goes fast!

  7. Hi KB
    Is a better treat something like a steak? I really think that would be the only thing that could make me be a better doggy!!! I hope you say it is,, them I will tell mommy.
    All your photos are so beautiful!!
    We wish that we had flowers like you do in your forest.

  8. Those pictures of the wildflowers are well worth a little bit of mud!

  9. The song, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is starting to play in our thoughts. Is this a sassy moment, Shyla?!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  10. Those temperatures sound pretty awesome. We will be in the 90's all week.

  11. There is no doubt about how gorgeous your spring times are! Just WOW!!!

  12. Summer is the best time in the mountains. I love all the flowers, and especially the columbine.

  13. Don't get to confident missy. You better stay by mom. Now is the time of year we head to the mountains
    Lily & Edward

  14. Blueberry was pretty timid and unsure of the world when I first got her - I had to actually encourage her to walk next to me on the leash instead of behind me. But once she realized the fun of being outdoors, hiking, going to the park, etc - she got pretty spunky and decided to test the limits of what she could get away with. Mostly it was pulling on the leash and I just had to be consistent in reigning her back in and working on redirecting her with. She quickly learned that me letting the 20 foot leash out for her is a privilege and not a right. While she still does forget her manners sometimes (like if there is a critter she wants to chase) - for the most part she's pretty good about not pulling and minding me as far as rules of staying on the trail. I stopped feeling like the bad guy a while ago - it's for her safety as well as mine that rules are in place.

    While it's great to hear how confident Shyla has become, just keep working with her to let her know the boundaries and I'm sure she'll settle down. :)

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  16. We had internet connection for a few minutes today so I rushed over to check out some of my friends sight. What a joy it was for me to see your columbine. That is our favorite wildeess flower and we usually have to check your sight in order to see one. Thank you from me and Bert

  17. Absolutely spectacular photos!

  18. Oh my! Those columbine's are FABulous!!! Wows! And so are you Shyla!! Hey, I test Ma every single moment of every single day!
    That's just the way I roll....
    Ruby ♥

  19. The flowers are so beautiful. Sasha wishes she was running along side you Shyla.

    Anne and Sasha

  20. I don't know which is lovelier - Shyla or the Columbine. Well, yes, I do - Shyla. But the wildflowers are right up there! :)

  21. Beautiful flowers, we dont have them in Sweden!

  22. Isn't she a teenager now?? Sounds right :)


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