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Where not all roads less traveled are roads...

Header Photo: Table Mountain, Golden, Colorado, with views of downtown Denver.

Monday, December 31, 2012

For The Love Of Dogs


"Such a simple concept, yet so true: That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves." Garth Stein, "The Art Of Racing In The Rain."

I'm finally getting around to reading, "The Art Of Racing In The Rain," a loaner from Marathon Man Leonard. If you have a passion for dogs this is a book you will truly enjoy. "Racing" is a "first person" account as told through the eyes of Enzo, a dog, which, I suppose, makes it "first dog." It's about the fervent and loyal relationship between Enzo and his owner, Denny, that must expand to include "invaders." 

Yes, Enzo's "garden of Eden" gets invaded by Eve, Denny's new girlfriend and soon-to-be wife. Ah, the ups and downs of a mutual toleration society... the vying for attention by Eve and Enzo for the affections of Denny. It's a tough adjustment, but with Denny off to race cars all around the world, Eve and Enzo are forced to rely more and more on each other for what they need. 

The plot thickens when a new baby girl comes along. Enzo loves her as much as her mother does and dedicates his energies to protect the sweet smelling little darling from all harm. He follows her... barks for Eve when she toddles herself into a jam in the house and yard. At one point Enzo fantasizes about not hesitating to give up his own life to save hers, or Eve's, for that matter. Well, now Enzo and Eve have things in common, they love the same people, and it serves to deepen their relationship with each other. Love builds into a mutual understanding.

I won't give too much away, but Eve begins to have "spells" that center in her head, and with husband away she relies more on Enzo for love, support and companionship. Enzo can sense when she is not feeling well and makes a point to sit by her side, nuzzling, offering her his love and affection. One day Enzo "kisses" her ear, and smells the illness in her head. He now knows it is serious, but how to convey it to humans?  

To be honest, I didn't think I would care for "Racing In The Rain." But after a few pages I was hooked, and now I can't put it down. It's about the stuff of life... dogs, relationships, goals, priorities, love, illness... as understood and told through the eyes of man's best friend.

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Now let's go back up to "Yankee Girl" mine for part two of our snowshoe foray into the wild. Peace out...






















20 comments:

  1. Thank you, the book sounds interesting. Your photos are unreal! Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. This post shows that you have hope of someday having a dog along on your hikes. Imagine if a dog was romping through that snow with you. The expression "leaping with joy" sounds corny but it is actually an understatement of what that dog would demonstrate, mile after mile, hour after hour.
    p.s. Dogs are also photogenic.

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  3. TexCyn,
    I assume you are a "dog" lover from your comment photo :)) A beautiful photo, what breed? Thanks :))

    Boonie,
    Your comment almost has a tone of reprimand :0
    Sheesh, I'm getting there, be patient... it's a big responsibility and commitment... like marriage (jab).
    I do miss the rewards of having a dog, like those you mentioned :)) Our dog is out there, we just haven't found him/her yet. It will need to be a snow dog, tho... not a Poncho.
    mark.

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  4. There's no dog like a snow dog. Every few days we run across a huskie being walked out in the desert in Yuma. Huge front paws, almost like snowshoes.

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  5. The book sounds interesting. I'm not a big dog person, but I'd enjoy the book.

    Your opening quote is what we believe in life. Great stuff.

    And once again, your photos are amazing.

    Susan

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  6. It is a good book! My daughter, who has never really cared for dogs very much, told us we had to read it and we enjoyed it. When our motorhome backs up to the door to be loaded, Rusty, our border collie, just sits underneath it and pouts. He gets to go with us down to the river to camp but not out west when we come. Maybe some day but we aren't there yet.....

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  7. I, too, resisted reading that book at first and then I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed it so much that I gave away two copies on my blog and those folks have passed the books on to others. Nothing like the love of a dog.

    You snow pictures are so beautiful. Glad I can enjoy that cold stuff through your eyes.

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  8. Wonderful as always! It might even entice me to seek out the book you've mentioned. However, since most of my reading is done with a cat sitting on my chest, there may have to be some sort of closet reading done! But even that will involve black paws glaring at me from under the edges of the door...

    And if and when you do get a dog ~ please, oh please, go to a shelter and seek one out!! There are snow mutts there beyond measure!!!

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  9. You photos are exquisite! So I see why you want to be there, Now. Just please be extra careful around those old mines cause you near know what's under, or not, the snow.

    Happy New Year Mark & Bobbie!

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  10. Walden Creek RV steveDecember 31, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Mark-- a couple of posts ago I saw -you got tickets to Bronco game????

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  11. Good book. You will love the ending. Great photos as usual. Happy New year to the two of you.

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  12. Happy New Year, Mark & Bobbie. I read a condensed version of that book and loved it.

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  13. What do you suppose made those tracks in the 8th to the bottom photo?
    I just read that book and enjoyed it, too!
    Happy New Year!
    Grace (in Tucson)

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  14. Boonie,
    yes, our dog would need "snowshoe paws." But I prefer a smaller bodied dog over large... limited rv space, you know. A smaller cold-lovingl dog with big paws. Hmmm...

    Travel Bug,
    Yes, we are the masters of our own manifest destiny. All those little decisions and thoughts add up to our "path." Kinda makes you think about how you think, doesn't' it :)). Need a blog post on that :)

    Chris and Mindy,
    Poor Rusty... :(
    But I understand the dilemma of some RV'ers with dogs. As Boonie so often points out, dogs are not allowed on the trails in National Parks, nor many other places beyond National Forest and BLM lands for that matter. So it can be limiting if the dog is part of the family. Some people choose to leave their dogs behind in the campground, either tied up or inside, and sometimes they bark a lot... which bothers other campers and their dogs get to barking. So I don't really don't want to do that. Hence the "limiting" factor. I'm curious how other people/rv'ers feel about this... what do you do when you are someplace that is not dog friendly (no dogs on trail, etc..)

    Donna,
    Thanks... the photos are my pleasure.
    and, it doesn't take too many pages to get hooked on "Racing in the rain."

    Meow Mamma,
    thank you. If your cat can read it might get jealous :)). There are no pictures of dogs, tho.

    Gaelyn,
    You bring up a good point. We keep an eye on "depressions" in the snow and kinda avoid them.

    Walden Steve,
    No way, Steve... Bronco tickets are too expensive nowadays, since Jesus Ch... I mean Peyton Manning joined our team. :)

    Jerry C,
    Thanks Jerry... happy new year back at you. I am a little concerned about the ending... don't care for sad ones, you know.

    Teri,
    Thanks, Teri. And Have a great New Year too!!!

    Grace in Tucson,
    Ha, I was wondering if anyone would notice those tracks!!!
    They are rabbit tracks... more correctly, Snowshoe Hare tracks. They are larger than traditional rabbits and have big feet... to support their weight on top of soft snow. In winter they turn pure white for defense purposes, and blend in to their background.
    Thanks,
    mark

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  15. Fabulous photographs, I always wondered how it would look in the winter, now I know. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  16. Maybe instead of a dog you should tame a snowshoe hare? This just off the top of my noggin this morning:) Happy New Year to you and Bobbie! The book sounds interesting. Your photos as always, stunning. -Maureen

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  17. Love looking at your snow photos but glad we aren't in it. Thanks for the book recommendation. Although we are cat people, we love dogs but don't have one for the same reasons you discussed.
    Happy New Year to you and Bobbie, and Leonard, too! Is he glad he stayed in Ouray for the winter?

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  18. Chesire Cats.
    Thanks... It looks cold, I know... but it's not as bad as you would think, as long as the sun is out.

    Maureen,
    It's not the same...
    Poop duty would be easier tho with a Snowshoe Hare :))

    Jim and Gayle,
    You have the perfect Dog set up with Elliot... Like grandparents... Elliot goes home every night with Debbie :))
    Thanks for commenting, and yes, I know you don't' do snow...
    Mark.

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  19. Those photos are just ridiculously spectacular, but the first one at the top of Bobbie blazing a trail just takes my breath away!

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  20. Suzanne,
    Thank you, that you are "breathless" is a nice reward for the photographer :))
    mark

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