Friday, March 31, 2017

Ice park photos and snuggles

DL and I went to the Ice Park last weekend. It was late in the season--the winners had been judged for weeks--but the sculptures had held up well due to the stable weather with no heat spells nor cold snaps. However, it seemed a bit... bleak and dark this year. Some half dozen of the entrants had themes of death and destruction, and souls being sucked into Perdition. I avoided photographing those darker ones, but now I wish I had. I feel like they reflect the mood of our international consciousness (most of the entrants are not American; China, Russia, and Scandinavian countries dominated the international scene). Here are some examples though:

"And Hell's Coming With Me!" depicting a demon rising from a grave.
"Heat of Big Cities" depicting an ogre cooking an entire city in a frying pan.
"Chained Evolution" recalling slavery (although this one was astonishingly skillfully carved!).
"Until it's not Too Late" depicting a priest and a group of souls being sucked into hell as he clutches a crucifix.

This one is called "True Colors" and depicts a peacock looking into a mirror and seeing a vulture:

"Your Move" offers you the next move in a game of chess against the Grim Reaper (no thanks, I'll decline!):

Pretty dark, huh? Well, here are some more optimistic ones:

"Free Bird", which looks like it's about to take flight:

A lovely lily, called "I believe we Can":

This soaring abstract is called "Flying Spirit":

And this other more hopeful abstract is called "Transcend":

Then there was the usual assortment of wildlife, architecture, and whimsy, meant only to please the eye and not to strain the emotions.

Alice at the Mad Hatter's tea party!

"Beluga" but this does not look like a beluga to me:

A butterfly!

A Chinese pleasure boat!

A samurai warrior who has just slain a dragon!

An elephant!

A tropical fish!

A dragon!

Old Man Winter blowing the last leaf away:

A leezard about to chomp a butterfly!

A lovely moth!

An owl!

A lovely seascape!

A triceratops!

Lord Vishnu!

A wasp!

"Who wants a carrot?"
"Who's a good dog?"


Fuzzy things on the cooooooooowch:

Kerfloppulous selfie!

And now... Post morning run still lifes: Schnozzes on the couch in the morning sun.

Starbuckeroo's schnozz!

Cricket's schnozz!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Insane walks again!

Starbuck is so trustworthy off-leash that I had forgotten what it was like to walk a younger husky on a leash. But those memories are coming back. I got bigger shoes so as not to damage my toes. My neighbors call out, "Are you walking those dogs, or are they walking you?" (SO CLEVER! I HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE!) My arm and leg muscles are sore as they re-acclimate to our new pace. When Autumn and Linden were 12.5 years old, I drew this:

They had quite terrible leash manners! They'd walk around behind me, cross each other's leashes, etc, etc. I learned that if I jogged at a decent clip, they'd jog along in front of me and have better manners. I told people this:

I didn't know DL at the time. I informed him the night before last that I would no longer "walk" Cricket since her bouncing and caterwauling drove me crazy. He looked nonplussed. "You can't just run everywhere!" I laughed and laughed! Oh yes, I could and I would. From now on, if I am going somewhere, I am runnin'!

The one mercy they have (and Cricket is now my fourth of these creatures, so I believe I am now allowed to make blanket statements and start calling their commonalities things that "they" do) is that if I want to stop and take a rest, they will happily sit still with me as long as I like. They don't get impatient or try to drag me off. In this way, they are more patient with people on foot than they are with their sled drivers. When a sled is still, they are rarely so patient. They leap and howl and strain against the break! I'm thankful that they let me stand there and, for example, adjust my scarf or add or remove a layer of clothing without yanking me off my feet! So if I need a break, I stand there. But as soon as I take one... single... step, they are off! I used to call Autumn and Linden "sideways gravity" because they pulled me sideways!

So this is how I walk with Cricket, recycling lessons learned from Autumn and Linden. I put her in a walking harness so that when she pulls, she doesn't choke herself. But it's not as comfy or padded as an actual sled dog or skijor harness, so she can't really throw her whole weight against it. And in this photo she nicely demonstrates how she lets her line go slack when I stand still:

Starbuck sez, "Roo! Roo! Pet ME!"

From the harness, Cricket is connected to a towline, a skijor bungee, and then me, by the skijor belt! This is her happy place, with Starbuck just a bit ahead, but not too far. It looks very calm and peaceful, but back there I am trying not to get dragged off my feet! She is crazy strong!

I can't wait until she is trustworthy off-leash, but until then, I am runnin'!

Oh, as long as I'm grabbing photos and sharing them, here is a cute one of the pup from across the street:

She visits sometimes, unbeknownst to her owners. They are the kind of "bad dog owners" rural people constantly complain about... they let her and their other two dogs run amok unsupervised. I hope they never get hit by a car!

Two boneless huskies, coming right up!

Cricket sure loves to snuggle!

And then she goes boneless:

Roo's snuggling is so much more dignified!

This is not exactly dignified!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cricket ree-laxing

Apparently these photos are a thing that I do.

Autumn when she first arrived

Linden when she first arrived

Starbuck when she first arrived

"Oooohhhh cooooowwwcccchhhh"

"How can I maximize contact with this cooooowwwwccchhhh??"

"How I looooooove this cooooowcch!"

"I have a friend and a coooooowwwch!"


I'm not sure Cricket understands how pillows work!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Welcome, Cricket!

This is Cricket:

When I brought her home, Starbuck came to the door, went outside to pee, then came back in. Then they both assumed the position:

Within a few hours, they settled down into positions of bonelessness, taking the shape of their containers:

Her pointer genes give her shorter hair, a thinner build, and flippetty-flappitty ears. But she has a classic husky smile:

And she does a perfectly circular huskyball, just like Autumn and Linden:

She looooooves to cuddle, draping herself over you and doing the Boneless Husky thing:

When DL got home, she proceeded to cuddle with him!

"Are you my pawpaw?"

"You're my pawpaw!"

I have never seen two dogs so in love with a couch!

They get along great, even eating side by side:

DL said we should refrain from squeezing her until she has settled in. She seems to be settled in:

I need to reread my Folding Dog manual. I almost got her ready for stowage, but one leg is still sticking out: