It’s a lovely day for some Pie! What better way to celebrate a snow storming Pi Day than with Lemon Meringue? None that I can think of. Isn’t math awesome?!
And what better way to celebrate a snow storm than out with the dogs? Also none that I can think of!
Zora would like me to hurry up and throw the ball as Tom tries his best dalmatian impression. Zora loves the snow. Tom tolerates it. Usually he stands there turning white following me around the yard looking pitiful. He enjoys our snow woods walks slightly more, that is until his feet get cold. Tom has high tolerances for most things, except cold feet. He hates cold feet. Can’t say I blame him. And good luck asking him to walk when they’ve salted the sidewalks, it’s just not worth it. Tom’s favorite thing about snow days? Getting toweled dry once we come back inside. He demands it.
He’d make a pretty cute dalmatian, right?
And the throwing of the balls. Wally the doodle is super fluffy and very cute. He seems to like my Holee Roller! Zora says she’s sticking with her Jolly Ball, thank you very much.
Wally is visiting with us while his mum is on holiday. We’re working on his ability to resist grabbing the corgi when she’s running to me. He needs a lot of practice with that. Yesterday we made good progress with it, him coming to me running beside Zora instead of fixating on her trying to grab her scruff. This morning he forgot what we practice yesterday, and needed help to make good choices. He has though figured out that my dogs won’t chase him when he has the toy (which he laments, he really really wants someone to chase him when he has the toy). Instead Zora just lies watching him patiently waiting until he gets bored or distracted and drops it. Then she swoops in, grabbing the prize. Tom could really care less about what Wally does as long as it doesn’t involve bothering him. Nuff said.
Not to be left out, the ducks are glad it’s not quite so cold out anymore. They don’t mind the snow as much as when it goes below freezing. As it did here a number of days this past week. This morning they were thrilled I brought them a head of lettuce to enjoy. Happy Duckies! Then again their eggs did make my delicious Pi Day celebration possible. Thank you Ducks!
Mr Tommy Tomato Dog has earned his keep this past week for sure. Lots of Gold Stars on this dog’s chart! That would be if we did such a thing. Which in all honesty in the past with certain dogs I have. Mostly to help me keep the faith that their behaviors were indeed changing for the better. Smiley faces on the calendar really help with staying motivated to stay the course.
Anyway….Tommy Dog. Gold Stars. Right.
First it snowed it snowed it snowed!!!! Yay!
Which provided Mr Tom with gold star number one. Also with gold star number two for that matter.
Gold Star #1: Last week after the first snow storm. We are in the woods. With a friend. And a bunch of dogs. I have my lovely snow shoes on. The snow is too deep for Tom to safely be guiding in harness. The lighting is glarey crap so I can see about a pin hole in one eye. Tom’s solution? Which he did all on his own as I had been planning on my friend helping me out. To walk directly in front of me, right in the pin hole of a visual field I had left. Stopping at roots and rocks buried under the deep snow until he knew I had found them also. Making sure I didn’t slip off any of the wooden over swamp bridges. Notifying me of fallen trees over the path. And finding alternate routes through the woods when the trail itself was unsafe to pass.
Damn I love this dog.
Gold Star #2: This morning. It snowed again. I let the dogs out in the fenced yard as usual and began shoveling our deck. Suddenly Tom is at my side bugging me, not his usual morning routine. I asked him what was wrong, and he led me to the back gate. Which my husband (who is now in the dog house himself) accidentally left wide open when he shoveled last night. The naughty corgi had gone through to the front of the house, but came running the moment I called her to my relief. Thank goodness for Tom as if he hadn’t alerted me to the open gate, it would have been a good 5-10min before I realized they were gone. The corgi is also now on a ‘review of gate/door rules’ plan effective immediately! And the husband is on a ‘review of gate/door rules’ plan effective immediately! I’m ever grateful we didn’t have any visiting dogs today either. I can only imagine what horrors might have happened. I have a nightmare image in my head currently of the corgi and a snow plow. Shudder. I’m glad the dogs are ok and that Tom likes to inform me when things are amiss.
Damn I do love this dog.
Lately I often find myself the lone person grieving over our loss of winter at present. Same last year. The year before, the lone person jumping for joy at every extra foot of snow dumped on us that lovely season of storms.
My body craves, no it needs, requires, the sound dampening benefits of deep snow in winter. It needs the stable dry weather for weeks on end. It requires the break from the daily onslaught of modern noisy bright life that it must cope with every other day of the year.
This mild, warm, cold, warm, humid, rainy month of January is sending my sensory and pain systems off the deep end. The sound and light bouncing everywhere, the glare, the pressure shifts, the lack of weather stability.
The leaves fall off the trees and sound begins to bounce. Assaulting my central nervous system. Usually the layer of snow on the ground makes this a non issue, it absorbs so much of that bouncing sound. Usually the freezing temperatures make me bundle up in endless layers of sound dampening clothing, scarves and hats over my ears, fleece all over, which deadens the sounds.
Not so this season so far.
Instead I’m experiencing the full brunt of life with sensory processing disorder and yet another fibro flare. With an overwhelmed nervous system and all the fun that brings. There is much I can and do control to aid in SPD management, the weather is one critical influence I cannot. In desperation I’m full in research mode on how to better sound proof my home. To find a way to create a sensory sanctuary within these walls once more. Hopefully my research will lead to some relief.
In the meantime, I do my little snow dance. And hope each morning when I wake we’ll be blanketed in silence.
This weekend we were graced with the first real snow of the season! And by real snow, I mean over a foot of it. Yea sure we’ve so far had a couple of dustings, even a couple of inches, but this weekend it was real snow. Real, ‘yea it’s coming down hard no one is going anywhere for the next 12+ hours’ snow. Real no one is on the roads but the plows snow. It’s great!
The ducks begrudgingly survived it. They don’t seem to mind the snow itself, but the cold. Yea, they say they can do without the close to or below zero temps thank you very much! They were pleased when I brought them fresh greens and peas this morning and basically scattered it on their heads in the straw. They essentially seem to only move to the front of their pen when they want a drink otherwise they are nestled in the deep straw out of any risk of wind in the back area.
This morning the dogs and I took a walk (ok for the humans more of a trudge) through the snow in the woods with a friend. That was a work out. We were cracking jokes on the ride home, who needs a gym? We just walk our dogs! With every season change our work out changes! I think tomorrow I will be sure to remember my snow shoes.
When the dogs and I woke up again later this afternoon, we went out into the yard to take some silly snow photos. Hope you enjoy!
It was such a lovely morning. A friend and I took our dogs for a walk in the snow fall. Her poodle and Zora had such fun racing back and forth, and Tom was a wonderful guide who seemed to have fun too. It was perfect weather, not too hot, not too cold, not too much wind, quiet snow fall, no other people around. Lovely way to start our day.
The other bit this video reminded me of is how entirely doable having 2 dogs with different sets of criteria is and each dog having certain criteria based on context that they know and understand. For example, Tom knows if he were off leash having a free run, and I said “ok go play!” he’d take off running and noodle doing his own thing, just like every other off leash dog in the group does. Here when I say “Ok go play!” he ignores that knowing it’s only meant as a cue for Zora, since he is in harness he knows different cues apply. Or Zora, when she’s on leash if I say “Forward” that’s her heel beside me cue and Tom’s guide forward cue. But when she’s off leash, she completely ignores my “Forward” cue knowing it’s for Tom alone. If I want or need Zora to walk with me off leash then her cue then is “Heel.” Both dogs have learned a wait or a come cue can apply to anyone at anytime and so both regardless of who is on or off leash respond assuming they are close enough to hear it. Of course the real key to all of that is my consistency and maintaining criteria, but entirely doable and it works.