more snow play
Winter keeps trying, making appearances in fits and starts, dusting the landscape with white that melts quickly into the ground. Rain here at the house last night meant snow up higher, so the girls and I went to the ski mountain this morning. From the first step on the trail we were in snow!
At one point early into the run Maia came alongside me, nudging my hand, trying to get me to stop, or turn back. It seemed much too early for her to be tired, and she hadn't run in a few days, so I was puzzled. We were out in the open; I couldn't imagine she saw or smelled a bear. Then, just a few feet more up the trail, I saw fresh large canine prints in the snow. They followed the trail a short distance before detouring straight up the open hillside. There were lots of deer and rabbit prints as well. Coyote? Certainly too large for fox, but possibly a big male coyote. Or wolf? Is that what had Maia nervous?
I urged her to keep going. She did. We went close to three miles up the trail before turning back. As soon as the girls knew we were heading down, they dashed, ran, pranced with glee. They LOVE heading back to the car. I think it's a Malamute thing, especially with Maia - an outing for such a dog is a destination-oriented affair, and as soon as we turn around, she's certain of the destination. She can't wait to lead me there. If there's an option, she always stops to point me to the shortest route. If I choose the longer way back, she complies. I'm sure she thinks I'm the dummest human on the planet, but she doesn't rub it in.
Meadow, for her part, plays the entire way back. She hangs back, then zooms past me, and Maia, in full bouncy run. Having passed us with a flourish, she tops in the trail, looks back over her shoulder at me until I pass and praise her for waiting, then does it all over again. She has certain sections of the trail memorized for such zooms (and yes, I shriek "Zoom!" as she goes by, to her clear delight, enforcing this behavior). Maia, my reliable and single-minded girl, remains focused on the goal of the car, no matter how much Meadow tries to distract her.
We had a delightful morning on the snow. It doesn't get any better.
I took close-ups of both girls, but as usual, Maia refuses to sit still for me. Meadow is the perfect camera model. Something about the ice crystals on their muzzles epitomizes that when playing in the snow, they are in their element.