1. My Pack and My Friend

Wasn't that a week of snow, though! Seemed that every time we had left our calling cards along the snowbanks, the ploughs would come along again and bury them.  Ýou're a beagle and maybe your sniffer is more finely attuned to whiffing out the evidence of who has passed by that morning, evening beneath the snow.  But for we dogs of lesser schnoz, it gets pretty challenging to keep up with the news of who's out and about.

Don't get me wrong.  I love this weather.  When my Alpha tosses a stick into the tennis courts, I have to bound after it like an antelope to try to get above the snow.  Then I must tunnel down until I can get my teeth around it.  My Alpha thinks it's a big joke to throw a snowball instead of a stick into the drifts.  He thinks that he's tricking me and that I get confused when I bury my head into the drifts and find nothing but...more snow.  I like to humour him. He needs his walk three times a day and it keeps him in a better mood to think that I'm trying to solve all these puzzles he sets up for me.

The Lump is getting old enough that he's learned how to throw sticks as well.  This is a breakthrough.  I've been trying to train him for three years now, and he's finally getting enough coordination to toss the stick beyond the range of a wagging tail.

I know you've still got a long way to go before your Lump is old enough to be useful.  You must be patient.  There are certain tricks these lumps pick up after a few years, but I'm giving up on ever being able to teach them the rudiments of common courtesy.  For awhile, I had my hopes.  When my Lump was still on all fours, I thought I was making some progress in teaching him that the proper way to greet another being is to sniff i'ts bum.  I'm afraid any progress I've been able to make has been negated by the Alpha and She Who Must Be Obeyed.

I don't know why those two make such a fuss over the Lump.  He doesn't have much fur.  He doesn't have a handsome long nose. He's useless at catching tennis balls and kongs.  You're in a much earlier phase with your Lump, so maybe you've observed something I've missed about the care and training of these things.  If you come to any conclusions, let me know.  I'll do the same.

In the meantime, I'm just happy that the Lump doesn't stay up very late.  When Alpha and I hit Windsor Park at night, it's almost like old times.

Take care. See you in the park tomorrow.

Waggingly yours,