Monday, January 28, 2008

Crazy Stick People

Jasper's impression of humans and their strange ways was probably made all the stranger this past Saturday. It was a fine day to be outdoors: we got above twenty and has recently gottena few inches of new powder. We introduced Jasper - the black labradoodle who bears a striking resemblance to a husky with his love of cold and snow - to the odd human activity of cross-country skiing. Imaging, if you will, his thought process:

"Ok, we've driven in the car to some new place to run around. Sweet!"

"OK, we're out of the car. Let's go! Wait, why aren't we going yet?"

"What in GOD'S NAME are those sticks doing in my vicinity?"

"You've got to be joking: you're going to stick those to your feet, so that you can't run or anything, and have a good chance of just falling over sideways? What the hell kind of fun is that?"

"Oh, I see, somehow the addition to equally ungainly sticks to your hands, so that you can't use them to break your fall, makes it more fun. Just keep that stuff away from me."

"I said keep that stuff away from me! Wait, you want to keep me on the leash, so that I'm, like, close to you and the crazy sticks? You fools! I thought I'd seen enough madness in the crack den!"

Ok, so maybe he didn't channel Hunter S. Thompson into his train of thought, but his sentiment probably wasn't far off.

You can imaging the difficulty of cross-country skiing when one wrist is attached to a very skeptical dog by a 6-foot leash. After a while, it seemed much easier for all concerned to just let him off the leash and romp around like he is accustomed. After we did that, he seemed more than happy to run circles around us, but keeping a close watch that he never came within 3 feet of any ski equipment. By extension, that meant us, too. Ah well, he kept to his pack well enough, and as the sun dipped below the hills, we enjoyed a winter activity that didn't involve donning four layers.

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