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December 18, 2013: Follow Through

This morning I went for a hike in order to clear my head a bit. I also wanted to avoid having to deal with holiday stuff, like getting packages and cards out to people. It was far easier to do something virtuous, like take the three very energetic dogs for a really long trek. This is what I did – we walked clear to Grizzly Camp, and up the hill, going to where no hikers have gone before. The boggy area was frozen over, so dogs and owner went to the base of the Talkeetna Range. It was -12°F or so, but I did not ever feel chilled.

I was, most of the time, deep in thought. I was not, as I usually am, distracted by the sound, smell, and sight of snowmobiles. This year it’s been

unusually quiet. It would be otherwise if we’d gotten more snow. We have not yet been able to do any cross country skiing – the tradeoff is that the horseback riding has been quite good. In a few days, once Pete is fully recovered from the procedure, we might venture beyond our own trail system and do a more lengthy trek.

Today wasn’t exactly an ideas day – yesterday was though. Today was a day in which I attempted to expand upon yesterday’s ideas.

I have a number of projects that I must get done. For example, I have a January 1 deadline for my story about Mr. Siggi. I need to revise it for the Icelandic Horse Quarterly. Some of the other members of the editorial committee rightly said that the subject matter – in part the death of a horse, would not go over well with the readership of a magazine in which the focus is on promoting Icelandic horses.

So, as I walked, I rewrote the article in my head, focusing almost exclusively on the things that happened after Stardust’s death. And this is what I’m going to call him. My main idea is that after his death, many good, but unexpected things happened. For example, we met many wonderful people.

I also need to revise and get my proposal about horse trekking to Storey Press. And I am going to have to start marketing Raudi’s Story. Right now, at this very minute, Pete’s getting it ready for the printer. This project has taken him as long to format as it took me to write the book.

I’m waiting on illustrations for Raising Raudi, which I think that we’ll also self-publish. And I need to revise my Headwinds proposal and get it out.

Yesterday it came to mind that I should write a book about Ryder’s first year, and all the things that we’re now doing together. Right now, this book is entitled “I Know you Ryder: The Making of a Search and Rescue dog.” Right now, I don’t know if Ryder is going to be a search and rescue dog. I would think that her obedience, agility, and herding training would come to the forefront when being trained to do search and rescue work. But you never know. We’ll see. This is, like most else that I’ve written, a story in the making.

I would also like to include the stories of Ryder’s trainers, Claudia, Suzanne, and Stacey included. The story is going to begin with our finding her at the Coyote Meadows trail head, and will be about making connections.

So this is where I am now at. My plate is so full that there is no room for more. All this is going to have to wait because we have to attend to holiday stuff, like printing up and getting cards and packages out to family members and friends. If I had gone for a shorter walk, I’d have already begun to take care of this stuff. But no, I was a bad human being. If there is any consolation, it’s that I am (at least today) a hero in the eyes of dog.

Next: 278: 12/19/13: How do other People do it?