It’s 38 degrees out, raining hard and blowing like stink. I can hear it roaring through the stove pipe in the kitchen. Even though I know it’s not true, I feel like it’s been gray and/or raining for two weeks. This is the time of year when all I want is to get out of Dodge…
It’s been a hard week for dogs. Hunting season started last weekend, so our attire of choice (choice?) includes blaze orange, and our places to walk are limited. Max would make a good excuse for someone hunting deer to take a shot, so he’s always got his orange vest on – even when we only go out in our backyard. In addition to the shooting danger, we’ve had a few days where we couldn’t take a walk because it was raining too hard. I did manage to get some time in between downpours to take him to our favorite place – Settlement Quarry in Stonington. It’s part of the Island Heritage Trust’s preserves and a place where I feel pretty safe walking through the woods and around the old granite quarry. Max loves it and even though we go almost every day, he never ever DOESN’T SNIFF every available spot!
Meanwhile, Max continues to grow and become the great dog I hoped for when he picked me to come home with. He’s more mannered, mostly calmer, and still very much a puppy at 9-1/2 months old. The best part is that he is a lot of FUN. He leaps and bounds when he’s off-leash – running top speed out of sight, then racing back to sit in front of me for a reward. Or just waiting until I come into sight and say something like, “Good boy! Nice waiting!” and then he’s off again, rocketing ahead, making huge figure eights out and back and out and back, smiling that beautiful doggy smile all the while.
I weighed him (as best I can on a small bathroom scale holding him and deducting my weight from our total) and think he’s 55 pounds. Since I expect he’ll top out around 70 or 75, we still have a ways to go.
So, he’s getting ready to take a trek with me by growing into a dog. I’m getting ready by studying maps and books, talking with friends about places and routes, and thinking about exactly what we’ll load into the car when we head out on January 1st.