Friday, April 11, 2014

Welcome, Spring (Please Stay)

I'm almost afraid to say "Welcome, Spring!" because with the way this year has been going the second the words leave my mouth there will be snowflakes in the air again. I'm going to risk it, though, because this week has been fantastic for having a little outdoor time with my favorite girl and opening the windows a bit for my favorite guy.

After the dreary, rainy weather at this time last week, the weekend brought in some better weather. It was still colder than I'd have liked, but the sun was shining so on Saturday we got in 2 good walks to total over 6 miles for the day.

On Sunday, the weather was warm enough and dry enough that we could play outside during noseworks class! Barley had so much fun being outside and trying to find her snacks. We got to practice a little outside at home this week, too.

It's been so fun to see her starting to use her nose more. She's really started sniffing all over the place and not worrying so much about what else is happening around us when we're outside. I can already see a huge difference in how relaxed she is when we're in the yard now instead of doing her usual scanning of the area for her nemesis, the neighbor's Jack Russell.

After class on Sunday, we made our first Arboretum visit of 2014. We didn't get to explore all of our favorite places there--the rhododendron garden is closed while they do some work on it and coyotes are denning in the maple collection I love, so I decided not to risk running into one--but we had an excellent 4.6-mile walk in the other parts of the Arboretum.

Selfie by the lake!
My girl was just 100% happy the whole time. She trotted happily at the end of her leash without pulling and frequently came back in to check-in with me. I didn't have to remind her to heel or give her any corrections.

We got another sunset walk along the river in after agility class this week. Again, there were a ton of deer out at the park, but this week they were even closer to the trail than usual! Barley wasn't phased at all.

We got in walks every day between Saturday and today and ended up at more than 25 miles for the week! We're determined to make it back into the 8% of New Years Resolution Completers again this year and if we can keep up with weeks like this, we'll have no problem!

Yesterday, my poor girl had to spend a lot of time alone because I went to a poetry reading by my very favorite poet, Ted Kooser, after work. He was kind enough to sign 3 books for me (I left 5 others at home, so I was happy I didn't have to narrow down any more than that!) and while he signed them, he told me how much he loved one of the collections (coincidentally, my favorite collection) because his dog appeared in the illustrations throughout the collection. I'm not sure how he decided that I would appreciate talking about dogs during our brief conversation, but it further convinced me that he is my poet soulmate. 

Today, I figured I should take my pup somewhere more fun than our neighborhood, so we went out to the State Park for our walk. We hadn't been since the ice melted off the lake, so it was nice to see grass and blue blue water and skies.

It was almost 60 degrees, so I opened the windows a crack for Soth so he could get some fresh air, too. He loves sitting in the windows and chirping at the birds and squirrels.

Then we all stretched out in the sunshine on the carpet for a little while. My pets are so easy to please.

We start the next session of noseworks this weekend, so we're looking forward to making our outdoor searches even more advanced (and possibly learning car searches!) over the next 5 weeks!


  1. Looks like she had a great time - love watching dogs use their nose. Ours love playing 'find the food'. Thanks for joining the Hop.

    1. She definitely has a blast with it! And it's really helping her focus outdoors, so it's a win-win for both of us :)

  2. I always love your hiking pics with Barley. Now that the weather's turning nice, we can start taking Memphis out, too; he's not as interested in snow as Barley :-)

    1. Even Bar is over the snow now! The last snow we got she rushed outside to take care of business and was ready to come back in immediately! Of course, today she was acting like I'd tried to make her run a marathon in 90-degree weather after a short 60-degree walk and is passed out on the love seat, so we just can't win :) I hope Memphis gets to enjoy lots of beautiful spring weather!

  3. I'm glad spring has finally sprung for you guys. It feels more like summer down here so I keep forgetting we're only in April! Looks like Barley really enjoys the nosework class. :) I'm glad she's having a good time.

    1. She does love it! She loves agility, too, but she's a completely different dog when we pull up to the training center for noseworks than she is when we get there for agility--she's much more relaxed and focused when it's time for noseworks, which is so fun to see!