Friday, November 14, 2008

Happiness is a warm sunbeam...

Claris can find a good time anywhere; I really admire her for that. A simple sunbeam through a window, a mud puddle in the trail, a field to run through; it is all grist for her mill. It may be her Labrador nature that makes her such a contented creature, but I like to think it is also her unique personality that make her so easy-going.

Labradors are known for their patience, loyalty, intelligence, and their desire to be with their humans. But as to being happy and laid back, I think that Claris has a bit more of whatever genes bring out those qualities than most. She throws herself into life and does not care how it looks, or makes her look afterward...

We hike whenever we can, and I find that I enjoy the time in nature more because she is with me. The simple pleasures she finds seem to rub off on me, and her exuberant play lifts my spirits as I watch her adventures. We should all be so lucky as to spend our lives with our noses sniffing, our ears twitching and our eyes searching out the next plaything!

On our last hike we found a few trees with apples left on them and munched on the last of our fall fruits together. Claris likes a nice apple (or pretty much anything she is allowed to have) very much, as you can see:
Interestingly enough, she would not take just any apple from the ground. She only wanted to eat those apples that I had already taken a bite out of. I guess that makes me her official taster and quality control system. Who has who well trained, I wonder?

The deep grass is dying off, so access to the water and the fields is getting easier. We spent a good bit of time scouting out potential pond sites and swimming holes a few weekends ago, and came up with several places where creating deeper water without too much fuss will be possible. Claris has not had the water experience that Grommit and Deckard had when they were young, so I am looking forward to giving her a place where she can swim and play as Labs love to do.
The field at the bottom has a very marshy section, and we had not been able to get in there and explore until recently. Claris has gotten much better at navigating barbed wire fences, and I can now pay more attention to the birds, critters and plants and less on making sure she does not damage herself. She still stuffs her entire head into any interesting holes in the ground or trees to sniff out the occupants. This gives me great cause for concern, but I am sure with a little more training, we can work that one out too (I hope. The hornets nest she found was no fun for either of us...).

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