Winter cold seduces. If you fall on the ice you go down in cold onto cold. The texture of everything is cold. I walked down to the lake yesterday. Put things on my boots to prevent falling. Took camera. Heavy coat, scarf, gloves.

No dog, though.

Lad died last September. Seems like a hole in my life now. I haven’t written about him because it is hard to do. He was my friend and companion for 15 years. Especially  on walks. 

In the cold Lad would sometimes complain because of ice in between his toes. Too cold. We’d go back early. In the last couple of years he didn’t want to walk very far, but he always wanted to walk. Even if he would turn around in ten minutes he was excited at the start. 

Lad was 15 years and 3 months old when he died. He never gave us any problems and wasn’t very sick until the weekend before the monday when he dies at home in his bed. Just had trouble breathing for a while and then passed away. 

Now I walk without my dog. Thing is when we got him it was for Maria but also to help me get out for exercise more often. For most of his life he did a good job helping me and loving Maria. He was gentle and smart. Sensitive and aware of what his humans were up to. He wanted to understand and usually it seemed he did.

He hated to be put in the kennel. So when we got the Colby Pet Service to come and take care of him in our home, he seemed to know immediately that this time when we left him it would be different. He didn’t try to come with us in the car that first time, but just waited for Dave to come and take care of him. Dave had visited once to meet him and see our home. So when we left instead of complaining and trying to come with us he just sat in the chair that was his and waited. When Dave got there he said later that it was almost as if Lad expected him. I’m certain that he knew what was up and did expect Dave to come around to see him.

Here is one of my favorite photos of Lad. He is scruffy because we are out in conservation land and he has gotten into some mud, but I love the inquisitive look as if to say — so, are you coming? Where we going next?

 

Are you coming?

Are you coming?

Lad and I had different interests in the woods. He couldn’t see the landscape, I couldn’t smell the forest floor as he did. But together we covered it all pretty well. Of course if there was a coyote or turkey nearby he would notice way before me. 

Now when I go into the woods I feel as if I’m half a person. Getting another dog may be what we do later, Now its too soon and we need the extra space so to speak. We still may change houses in the next couple of years (but it seems unlikely in this market) and getting a new dog integrated and up and running will take time and energy. So for now — no dog.

But I don’t know if I can stand it.

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