Wednesday was a day I had been waiting for for a long time. Coach T and I have been trying to schedule a day where we could take the dogs cross country skiing with us, but it just hasn't worked out for some reason or another. So, when we finally loaded his car up with Nala and Hermione on Wednesday I was super excited.
We made it to the trail and I let Hermione out of the car. It's a huge parking lot and everyone there has dogs. It's one of the only groomed trails that dogs are allowed on. She was good, not venturing off very far. It took me a minute to find Nala's play collar, but once I found it she too was released; the bell on her collar jingling away. Nala instantly found someone to play with and busied herself frolicking with someone else's Yellow Lab. Coach T stopped to talk to some people he knew and they had thought that Nala was the Yellow Lab owner's dog because she was so invested in her game of chase. We walked to the beginning of the trail, stopping to talk to another guy who had a Shiloh Shepherd with him named Remmy. The dog was gorgeous and wasn't even bothered when Hermione started up her litany of "woo, woo." She has a hate on for big, furry dogs ever since she was attacked by that Tibetan Mastiff.
The temperature was a bit chilly, but the sun was out and the trail was actually quite nicely groomed. We probably skied about seven kilometres. I was worried that Hermione would freak out about the skis and poles and she did initially bark a bit at me once my gear was on. However, once we started gliding along, she didn't seem to think it was such a big deal.
Nala did get a light tap from one of my poles when she came too close, but otherwise she was unconcerned. She did, however, seem to not realise that Coach T's poles were just as dangerous as mine because she kept stepping on them.
When we reached the summit of our first down hill I was a bit worried. How would the girls react to me sliding down the hill? It could be quite noisy and although I wouldn't be going super fast, it would be quicker than what they were used to. For safety sake, I snow ploughed with one ski, even though I really didn't need it. Neither dog noticed.
They both seemed to really enjoy themselves. At one point coach T stopped us so that he could describe Nala's acrobatics. She had been hurtling along at full tilt, but must have smelled something wonderful because her front paws dug in hard. So hard in fact that her back end lifted up into the air. It's surprising she didn't go flying over. It was like she did a hand stand. Or...pawstand, I suppose.
I was surprised when we reached the spot where you can turn around and head back. It didn't seem like we'd gone that far and even when we reached the car it didn't feel like we had gone seven K. It had been so quiet, aside from Nala's jingle bell ringing, and the sun had felt great after such a long and cold winter. I'm sure everyone can relate when I say that I'm really ready for winter to be over. It's been so bitterly cold. Today hasn't been that cold, but we're currently getting more snow. On the other hand, I guess if winter hadn't lasted this long I wouldn't have managed to et my ski in with my girls. So that's a plus.
Back at the car, I got everyone back in. Hermione hopped in willingly which was also surprising since if she's not done running, you often have to bribe her. I checked her paws even though she hadn't been lifting them. She had giant snowballs packed into the fur which eventually just melted off. I had attempted to pull them free, but she wasn't very impressed. Cant blame her I suppose. I wouldn't want someone tugging on my toe hair if it was as long as hers. Actually, 'I don't want anyone tugging on my toe hair no matter how long or short it is.
For me, that was the perfect outing. Sunshine, cross country skiing with my dogs. I couldn't have asked for a better day.