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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winter Days - and Dreams of Favorite Campsites

The sun shined very briefly this morning before the clouds moved in and snow started drifting out of the sky. Although I slept through my alarm, we recovered and made it out in time for sunrise.
I have the winter doldrums, after having a bad migraine a couple of days ago. It left me flat and tired. Even when I'm dragging, Shyla's antics make me smile.
In the photo above, she's carrying the toy that I usually reserve for rewarding her on our backyard agility course. I find that making a favorite toy be an "agility only" toy is a great motivator for her. 

But, this morning, I decided that it was okay to play with it on our ride because our agility course won't melt out until April or May. Shyla had fun playing with her special toy!
When we arrived home, we started on my one dog-oriented resolution, which is to try to teach Shyla and R to identify different toys by their names. I've tried this game with other dogs in the past, and I've not been very successful. 

Today, I started the game with Shyla using just one - her "ring" toy. I started out with the ring sitting on the ground by itself, and I asked Shyla to "find ring". She aced that phase. Then, I added an additional toy, and she chose the right toy about 80% of the time. We stopped there (I believe in short and fun training sessions).  The next step will be to teach her to pick her ring toy from a big pile of toys. In the longer term, I'll then start teaching her the names of more than one toy. It'll be fun!

With the relentless winter weather we've had recently, I've been dreaming of the places we visit at other times of year. I pulled out a photo that I'd never processed from last summer's trip to the San Juan Mountains. It was a cloudy night, and I loved watching the puffy white clouds zipping past our campsite perched on a cliff.
I'm sure our campsite from that visit is now under a lot of snow and that it's even colder than here because it's 3800' higher. But, that quiet spot will still be there next summer, and I'm dreaming of idyllic days watching the clouds drift overhead in that little slice of paradise.


  1. shyla's incredibly smart. i have no doubt she'll learn the toy names quickly. :)

  2. We bet Shyla and R will be very good at learning toy names. We could use a little blue sky and sunshine around here lately so thanks for sharing your pictures.

  3. We had snow here in southern California down to 1100 feet. We cant imagine all the snow you guys have.
    Lily & Edward

  4. Yes, winter days do seem to be longer, in a shorter kind of way. Our inversions are setting up. Thank spring!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  5. Shyla is so cute with that toy!! That picture of your campsite is stunning!! <3 I'm sorry about the migraine. I get them too and ugh.. I totally understand. ~hugs~

  6. I have tried the naming game but our toys don't last long enough lol! Hope you are feeling better.

  7. Crikey ....... How beautiful is Shyla? ..... I'm really going to enjoy learning about her and all her antics. I'm so pleased you stopped by my blog today. I cant wait to meet the rest of your family. I LOVE snow photos too cause we NEVER get snow. I've NEVER seen snow.

  8. We love to hear about happy Shyla!! And all her new games and tricks!
    So sorry about that migraine visiting you again,, we hope it stays away for awhile.
    Oh the photos are soooo beautiful!

  9. Piper cracked me up the other day when I said, "Find bone! Where's bone, Piper?" and she thought for a second, then trotted into the kitchen and came back carrying her bowl :)

  10. We bet you and R will ace this game, Shyla!

  11. Since Millie and Walter share the same weather...I can use a LOT of sunshine and blue sky...we do not get any of that here in the winter! I love that Shyla has favorite toys! No matter what I do, I can not get LadyBug interested in toys...of any kind. Only Food! BOL!

  12. I'm sorry to hear you've had a migraine. The naming game sounds like fun! I downloaded plans for making some agility equipment last fall but haven't tried to make it yet. Toby does love agility, wish there were classes nearby. Meanwhile my calendar is here! I'll have a shoutout on my blog later today. It's beautiful! Thank you so much!

  13. Before visiting this post, I was thinking of a comment you left on my blog a few weeks ago about how getting out for the sunrise helped your winter blahs and I was considering my need for enjoying a sunrise or two. Well, these photos have sealed the deal! Thank you! And I look forward to reading more about the toy name training. Tynan was very good at specific toys and I think Wilhelm caught on to it from him. So far though, specific toy name knowledge has not rubbed off on Brychwyn and Huxley. Maybe you can share a post with the Positive Pet Training hop this week?

  14. I've never seen anyone have so much fun in the snow. Go Shyla go!

  15. I need to try that with Harlow, although I can already see her skeptical look... ;)

    Monty and Harlow


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