Beau January 3rd, 2008
Another cold morning, but sunny too. We’ve brought the dogs into the garage at night, with a small space heater blowing. They don’t mind the cold when it’s “only” down to about 20-25 degrees F at night. They have small igloo doghouses in their outdoor kennel to cuddle up inside. But when the tempature drops to about 9 degrees F, it’s just too cold for them. If we had a barn with hay and such, they could sleep out of the wind and cold, but for now the garage will have to do! It’s kind of funny… this morning at about 5:00 am I let them out of the garage (so they don’t piddle on the car tires!), and they can’t wait to get out and run around. But they also know it’s cold out there. After about 10 minutes, they both run up to the kitchen door, and I hear a little “woof!” as if to ask if they can come back in. I open the door and they run in, give a good shake, and run through the laundry room to the garage.
Ah, but one confession… the young Labrador gets to sleep inside the house in his own kennel. Yes… I’m biased. But the other dogs have lived outdoors all their lives, and they can’t stand to be couped up inside. And the Labrador is a special dog, a family dog, a people dog… an expensive dog! :) And he’s the dog I waited for most of my adult life… his personality is amazing, and his penetrating gaze is the most genuine, honest measure of trust that I’ve ever known in an animal. And I just think Labradors are really people dogs. It’s something I had read about, but not really understood until we’ve had him. He lives to be around people, and play with people… more importantly, he’s the young boys best friend and playmate. They wrestle, tussle, chase each other… and no matter what the young one does- the Lab just wags his tail and endures the ear pulling, tail pulling, hugging and good ‘ole fashioned romping around the house. Heck, the boy is seven years old, and in dog years- the Lab is seven years old too!
Speaking of the cold, I am so thankful for the heat our woodstove provides. Well, it’s really a wood-burning insert (I was more thankful last year perhaps with the power outage!). But I think I’ve cut and stacked enough wood for several winters of wood-burning now. On the coldest days and nights, there are few things to rival a cast iron stove and a few logs of Oak. We’ve had several Oak trees die over the past few seasons. I like to leave some standing as snags to provide biodiversity among the landscape, for woodpeckers, insects, etc, but sometimes it’s better to take them down if they’re too close the house or areas of traffic. And then they provide a couple seasons of warmth for the home. Of course it’s only supplemental heat to the electric and propane we also use, but every little bit helps! It just looks warm doesn’t it?