Friday, February 21, 2014

Relax, it's just a blizzard.

Jack's inconvenient resting place at the base of my office chair.
Eagle River beach on Lake Superior...frozen solid as far as the eye can see.
Winter on the Keweenaw Peninsula has a way of focusing the mind. It's pretty damned cold and there are currently over 256 inches of snow on the ground and a blizzard is howling outside. If your front and back doors happen to open outward (as mine do) you've spent a portion of the past 24 hours just making sure you can get out of the house if the need arises.

But if you are Jack, you take it all in stride. 30-mile-an-hour sustained winds, all the better to catch those exotic scents from the woods outside of town. Mountains of snow where the back yard used to be, all the better to watch the passing snow plows and check up on the neighbor's black lab two blocks away.

And when the blizzard does finally pass, your favorite beach—now an expanse of snow and frozen waves—will be ready for another visit. And the deer herd wintering by the lake is soooo interesting it more than makes up for the cold.

Deer at Eagle River, MI.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sweet Slumber

Eloise and Jack in training for their "long winters nap."
Any animal, no matter how undisciplined, seems positively saintly when they're asleep. These two are no exception.

Shortly before taking this picture I had to rescue Jack's backside from Eloise (who was laying in wait to swat his tail if he tried to move past her).

And not long before that I had to rescue Eloise's food dish from the Hoover vac that is Jack (when he thinks neither she nor I are looking).


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Make Yourself Comfortable

It's no use trying to write early in the morning if you're sitting on the same couch as a large sleepy dog.

This morning I rose just before the sun was fully risen, made my coffee, sat down on the couch (notebook on lap) before anyone else in the house was up—ready for inspiration to strike. My favorite time to write. Also, Jack's favorite time to stretch out and make himself comfortable on the couch.

I've known since the very earliest days of dog ownership and starting this blog that I really am not cut out for the role of alpha dog, but this did clarify things in my mind.

Still, it got me back to my long-neglected blog and it did get me off the couch. So...thanks Jack?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Big Lake in May

photo of Bette Grise rocky beach with dog

Recently, my daughter and I drove Jack for a walk on one of the sloping, rocky-slab beaches on the south side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. It's a completely different beach experience than Jack's usual jaunts on the opposite side of the peninsula at Eagle River

Jack's different reactions to the sloping plates of rock instead of the sandy beach got me thinking about the next Adventures in the U.P. story, which is long over due. I think it's going to be an adventure to the "Big Lake" (a.k.a. Lake Superior) which will give me a great excuse to sneak in a geology lesson disguised as an animal story. It also means Jack will get many more romps on the beach in coming weeks. My idea of a win-win situation.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jack takes on the "Cone of Shame"

You can see it in his eyes...I don't think I'm his favorite person today.
This seemed like a good idea at the time, but the "Cone of Shame" clearly is not going to be the master of Jack. It took him about 30 seconds after this photo was shot to pull the thing off his head.

And so Jack maintains his Alpha standing, even with a sore back paw. Next up, a sock with a rubber band. Yeah, that outta work.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Everyone should be a dog.

photo of chair dumped along a creek bank
Furniture trash.
Really, who dumps their old furniture along the creek bank? This was the site that greeted us on a recent walk along a nearby trail. Jack and I have not gone back yet to see if some one has removed it, but it will take someone with more than a Saturn Ion to tackle this cleanup project. Any of you pickup truck owners want to take this one?

People can be awfully disappointing, but dogs, never. And this is why Jack says everyone should be a dog.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things Jack Has Taught Me This Week

dog walking on the Keweenaw Peninsula in March 2012
Jack following on the scent of
God-knows-what during one
of our recent walks.

1. The world is interesting, even when it stinks. (Jack might say, especially when it stinks but I'm not that broad minded.)

2. If you keep nudging someone they will eventually pay attention to you. (It is best, however, not to nudge them when they are holding a hot cup of coffee right above their own lap.)

3. Being picky pays off. (Never settle for the low fat treat when you know the good stuff is right on top of the fridg.)

4. Persistence pays off, too. (See #3 above.)

I'm still trying to incorporate Jack's life lessons into my daily routines. It's a work in progress, but he's a patient dog.