The dogs are happy once again, and so I am. Today we decided the snow in the pasture had receded enough for us to resume our morning walks. It was perhaps a bit ambitious for Belle, who tried valiantly to fit her arthritic little paws into the frozen ruts made by alpaca hooves - it was rather like watching a tender-footed person walking across a rocky, barnacled beach on the first day of summer! Oliver (in the lead) found it a bit challenging also.
I kept lifting Belle out of the tracks and onto the smooth crust of snow alongside the trail, but she is a creature of habit and moved right back into the ruts. She finally got the message on the return trip and trotted along on top of the snow quite happily.
So what do dogs do when they get access to the pasture after a month's restriction? Well, Sadie sniffs the ground:
And so does Oliver:
And even Belle:
I swear I have four hound dogs instead of four herders! Traces of wolf or coyote (or both - the scat was two different colours which could reflect two species or could just reflect changes in diet for one species) were everywhere, but fortunately the animals themselves were nowhere to be seen.
We stopped to say hi to the neighbour's llamas:
And we watched the weak winter sun struggle to emerge from the fog and cast its soft golden glow over the blue grey shades of winter.
Ahhhh, it was good to be back in the pasture, breathing in the crisp morning air.