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October 16, 2020: Ryder and Shadow go to Puppy Socialization Hour

Hard frosts are now the norm, and the days are getting shorter. The ground is getting ready for winter by freezing up. This morning I went to move some gravel into the horse pen and found that last night it froze up.

The trails are firming up and there is now little grass, much to the horses’ dismay, and yes, they are dismayed. Raudi has in fact lost all incentive for moving forward at a fast clip. All I can say to them is that it is going to be a good seven months before the green grass again beckons to them.

Tonight, I glanced at the thermometer on the door of the garbage shed. The temperature was 30 F. I thought, it won’t be long before I’m again wearing my

Shadow at dog socialization

RefrigiWear suit. My old suit is really worn out, I’m going to get another year out of it, by putting duct tape on the tears. This is the Alaskan way. This winter’s arrival seems a little soon to me.

Pete took the dogs out for a walk early this morning and I cleaned the horse pen. Then at midday, I took the dogs and Tinni out for a walk. There was still heat in that sun, thank dog. And Shadow got to ride Tinni after we got back. Finally, early this evening, Shadow, Ryder, Pete and I went to puppy socialization hour.

We decided to take Ryder with us this week because we thought she might enjoy coming along. I envisioned her hanging out with Pete and me, and not doing much. However, she got out and ran around and interacted some with the other dogs. Shadow was the old pro, running around and encouraging Ryder to mingle. Who would have thunk it? After a while, Ryder, seemingly bored, began barking, first at the other dogs, then at us.

I could hardly blame her. The socialization hour takes place in a large, flat, grassy fenced in area. That setting is not like being out on our trails, which I think both our dogs find preferable. The trails have varied terrain and run along ridges. The surrounding area (that is the Matanuska Moose Range) is home to moose, bear, grouse, squirrel, and porcupines.

We went to puppy socialization because we figured it was good for Shadow to interact with a variety of other dogs. I don’t regret that we did this, but I think that from now on that we will forego the dog socialization hour and continue to allow our dogs to run free close to home.

I feel bad for the dogs of those owners who lack proximately to area trails and therefore have no option other than to walk them on leash in urban areas and/or take them to puppy socialization hour. And, these dogs fare better than most. There are dogs out there that don’t get to run around at all, and their owners then wonder why they then expend energy in not so good ways, for example, by tearing up sofas and counter surfing.

Though it’s getting colder, I’ll continue to take all the horses and dogs out on the trail. Yippie ki yi yaay.

Next: 287. 10/17/20: Slow to Figure Things Out

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