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November 7, 2012: Rainbow

Today, I first took Tinni for a trail ride, and then I took Signy and Hrimmi for a trail ride. Both times, I took Rainbow with me. I didn’t take her with me when I took Raudi out, though I could have. I will tomorrow. I’ve begun taking Rainbow with me on the horse jaunts, leading her via a rope on horseback. This was the way we often did it on the trip—the rest of the time she was off-lead.

My taking Rainbow with me on a consistent basis is new. I previously left her at home. I always felt bad about this, especially when I heard her barking at the gate, sometimes from a great distance. I rationalized my decision, telling Pete that this was for her own good. But I now realize that it was for my own good. I

just didn’t want to have to deal if she ran off. Rainbow’s boundaries used to be quite extensive; hence my concern. But she’s not roving as far as she used to. She previously had no qualms about being out of calling range. But she’s now staying within it.

I cannot do the loop with Rainbow on-lead because she pulls, even with me on horseback. And I cannot do the loop with her off-lead because she takes off. So, we’re confining ourselves to starting and finishing our adventures at one of the two trailheads. She now waits for me at one or the other, knowing that she’s going to be put back on lead.

Rainbow, now 11, is Pete and my second animal. Bootleg, who is buried on the hill behind the house, is our first. She’s now a bit past her prime. Her corneas are starting to harden, giving her eyes a bluish tinge. And she spends more time resting than she used to. So I feel like I owe it to her make sure that she gets to do what she most likes to do, which is to run free in the nearby woods.

Rainbow’s favorite time of year is winter. She enjoys accompanying Pete in harness when he goes cross-country skiing. She doesn’t pull hard, that is unless she sees or smells a moose. Rather, she sight-sees, trotting along on a slightly slack line.

Rainbow’s nickname is Doggy Hotel. This is because she has this odd habit of pushing open the kitchen and kitchen addition doors, and when she feels like it, letting herself inside. If Pete and I are in the kitchen, she’ll walk right past us. She then takes to her favorite place, the living room futon. We’ve given up on attempting to keep her off of it. This is an instance in which a dog was more persistent than her human counterparts.

I don’t know how much longer the good weather is going to hold, by good I mean sunny and clear. It’s been a bit chilly, but less so from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. So I’m going to continue to get all the animals out. I’ve also resolved (when the snow flies) to get in more cross-country skiing. The trick is to make this a habit from the first snow on.

Next: 333. 11/8/12: Red Horse Press