Time really does seem to fly. Today is Rudy and Wyatt’s second Gotcha Day. It doesn’t seem possible that two years have gone by since we adopted them and brought them to live in their forever home with us.
They have turned into such wonderful dogs. They absolutely adore us and we them. They hardly ever destroy anything anymore. Quite a change from two years ago.
Wyatt couldn’t resist chewing a cashmere sweater this winter that I’ve had for over 30 years. That sweater kept me warm on some brutally cold dogs walks this winter. I sewed it back together. It’s not pretty anymore, but it will still keep me warm.
I can’t imagine life without dogs. Actually I can, and did. We were completely dogless for the month after losing Tiger quite suddenly to Hemangiosarcoma, before we got Rudy and Wyatt. It was one of the emptiest, worst times in my life. We live in a rural area and I don’t really have any friends out here. The activities I do are all solo, largely because I’m too old and too slow to keep up with all the talented, younger athletes that call the Methow Valley home. So the dogs are my main companions these days. I’m not complaining. It’s good to experience life at the speed of dog. They live in the moment and savor all the things they encounter. Sometimes a little too much.
Being sighthounds, Rudy and Wyatt feel the uncontrollable need to chase anything that moves. That includes the numerous deer, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, cats and other critters that call our neighborhood home. Thankfully they haven’t encountered any of the many bears and cougars that frequently roam our property at night. Recently, the big excitement around here has been the moose that decided to take up residence in our neighborhood late this winter.
It very stealthily moved around to various locations nearby, browsing on the new buds on low-hanging branches and sleeping under trees. It left tracks and poop all over our yard and spent one night sleeping under a pine tree at our next door neighbors.
Rudy and Wyatt only laid eyes on the moose once. Luckily it was lying down a fair distance from us. It saw us, but didn’t move, so the boys remained calm. We turned around and they saw a squirrel running down a tree branch and proceeded to lose it. That morning on our walk, I can honestly say we saw Moose and Squirrel. It seems to have moved on, for which I am happy. They can be very aggressive and they are huge! Our guy is the size of a large couch.
In the seven years that we have lived out here, this is the first time I’ve seen a moose. Our moose wasn’t the only one. There were two moose seen wandering through town about a mile from us. People who have lived here for a really long time say it’s not all that unusual to see them around here, but it’s not a particularly common occurrence either. The fires in 2021 destroyed so much habitat. We had an abundance of bears this fall. Coyotes too. There are always so many deer around here, it’s hard to tell how much the fires impacted them. I think a lot of these poor animals lost their usual territory and have come down here desperate for food.
We were fortunate to have escaped any significant wildfires last summer. But winter hit us with a vengeance starting in early November. Our first significant snowfall came on November 6. That was followed by an endless stream of cold weather and snowfall for the next couple of months. Our temperatures bottomed out at -24F in late December.
We lost our water for a week around Christmas. I will long remember cooking Christmas dinner and cleaning up with no running water. But it is officially Spring now. The days are longer. The sun is warm. The ice and snow is melting and the world is waking up. Soon the hillsides will be full of glorious yellow Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers.
Each walk is a symphony of smells for Rudy and Wyatt as they nose around the newly melted out ground that is revealing all sorts of tasty secrets that have been sequestered in snow for the last five months. Soon our garden will melt out and it will be time to prep the soil and start seeds for the Summer. There will be a brief time between the melt and planting when the boys can run free in the garden. Very soon now, guys!