Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowcation, minus the snow

Every winter break we scoot over two passes to land in a German themed village surrounded by mountains. It is a breathtaking, quaint home away from home. We are privileged to stay at condo-style suites from clients of my husbands who have now become friends. The owners have always been so welcoming to our service puppies in training; her close friend is raising her 13th Guide Dog. The owners "get it" and will always stop by to say hello to Haddie, and now Kolby.
Kolby is a dream vacationer. Just as I thought Haddie was the best, Kolby is an equal. They travel without a peep from their kennels in the car surrounded by luggage, they follow house manners while in the condo, and enjoy all the activities our mountain village offers us while we are there. Many times that thing is surrounded by snow ~ a first glimpse for our pups.
But this year, we are lacking all of the white stuff on the West as the East is getting slammed. There were traces of snow in the mountain peaks and tree tops, and a little here and there in the village, but for the ease of discussion ... there was no snow. No snow pictures of Kolby. The little we received at our house in December will have to do for his experience unless something transpires quickly in the next month and a half.
We played a lot of games at the dinning room table overlooking Front Street. The shoppers below us and the twinkling lights of the town made for a beautiful atmosphere. Kolby enjoyed going under the table and lounging at our feet, or chewing on his bone next to the fireplace (and doing the Up and Lap command on my girl when he was instructed). During one magnetic darts baseball game that my hubby and son played, Kolby was intrigued by the flying pieces and literally sat and watched the boys play the entire game while my girl and I relaxed on the couch. Kolby just doesn't miss a thing.
Walks outside in the sunshine was not what I had pictured when we packed all our snow gear in hopes of a dumping. Kolby enjoyed learning how to maneuver walking on the occasional icey paths. He had adventured to this same village back in August, so the sights and smells might not have been new to him. It was hard to tell if he remembered as he is always just a cool-pup on outings. Not sure what really phases him or not.
**see below
Except for, however, whether it is his age or his character, that he continues to get startled over sudden noises. While his recovery is nice, I need to work more diligently on breaking this from him. Any tips are appreciated.
I hope in the next few months that we will get a chance to really enjoy some deep snow with Kolby. Whether that is in our neck of the woods, or another trip to the mountains, I think he would really enjoy himself in the white stuff.

**Explanation ~ Kolby loves his paws. They are cute substantial things at the end of long legs, so I can see why he loves them so much and why he uses them all. the. time. Way more than any dog I have ever met. He can hold your hand, use it to dig out a toy from under this or that, scratch his face and keep them hooked over his nose, kiss them, cuddle them, and use them for attention. So this picture is something we are teaching him not to do - the Retriever in him solicits love by putting his paws on you. If you ignore him (which is so hard to do!), he will eventually get the point. But until he gets the point - he will stay in this awkward position willing his sweet eyes to get you to pet him. What a balancing act that the picture does not do justice. His legs are completely off the ground ~ the connection being his chest to the floor. It looks so very uncomfortable but he does it all for love. Ohh, Kolby!!!

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