The first photo sums up a big part of what I love about Shyla. She started out so scared. Together, we've traveled a long way and now she's never afraid when it's just her and me. Today, near the beginning of our snowshoe hike, she almost flattened me by not stopping as she ran at me and my camera. Look at those eyes, so full of energy, happiness, and a rambunctiousness that I wasn't sure I'd ever see when I first met her.
I love this dog and the bond that we've built.
On these days of very slow snowshoeing through deep cement-like snow, Shyla makes it so much more fun. She loves it. I can't convince her to walk easily in my snowshoe tracks for long. Soon, she needs to run and bursts around me into the untracked snow. It looks like such hard work. She uses a leaping strategy, bursting high out of the snow, flying a little, and then landing again.
Barely above the snow, she leaps forward.
And then lands.
Occasionally, she just stops and rests, with only her face above the snow. The snow is actually deeper than she is tall so I'm grateful everytime I see her snout above the snow!
At our furthest point from home, we crossed moose tracks. They were huge tracks. Walking in them would have made travel much easier for me and Shyla. Shyla really wanted us to follow them. I knew that there was a moose at the end of the tracks so I called her back. I will not voluntarily go near moose after being charged by one. Shyla is so good about coming back, even when it's not what she really wants to do. She motors through the snow at top speed to get her reward from me.
That happy and tired feeling disappeared when we walked in the door to the sound of R caterwauling - it's a sound somewhere between a whine, cry, howl, with an occasional yip thrown in. I then spent some time trying to figure out how to make him happier.
I gave him a sedative but he still wasn't completely quiet after an hour. So, I moved him out of his crate, and I put him on a short tether next to his favorite bed. He immediately looked much happier. There was even a little sparkle in his eyes.
Safely ensconced on his favorite dog bed, he went to sleep and hasn't stirred for hours. That's what his body needs so I'm happy.