By Danielle French

Winter at South Pond Farm: First Real Snow

Finally today is a great snow day. After Christmas temperatures climbing to T-shirt conditions, I was so happy to see this beautiful snow. It was a spontaneous decision. I have to confess that regular exercise has not been in on any of my to do lists. Or should I say it has been on the list but overlooked – for the last several years! I threw another log into the fire, retrieved the boots from the basement and went under the barn to look for cross country skis. No bothering to wax or adjust bindings or anything actually in case the urge to go back inside with the fire would overwhelm me. March on. Besides, the dogs were ecstatic. They had all but decided that I was a lost case, that playing with the cats and each other would have to do. They were beside themselves with eagerness.



Lillie the lab, falls in to the routine immediately. First she won’t let me lace up boots, steps on the bindings, pushes me aside when I reach for poles. Then as I build momentum going down the hill, she looks at me while running back and forth across my skis often causing a wipe out. Once we cross the berm of the pond she settles down and focuses on finding wildlife. Nim is content head down following her but keeping a regular slow lope. Molly usually is the rear guard. She follows directly behind me careful not to tread on the skis. She stops when I stop, she is polite, she is my quiet dog. Today I notice that Molly is not the ski dog she always has been. She falls behind, she struggles. It’s hard for me to admit this but Molly is getting old. She was our first puppy. Olivia celebrated her 5th birthday when we drove out to the country to pick her up making her nearly 13 years old now. She is a cross between poodle and golden retriever and from the very first day she had the most lovely personality. We call Molly our Rosedale dog. She is polite, elegant, she learned her socialization skills in the dog parks of our old neighbourhood. I love our Molly dog and I’m sad today to realize that her skiing days are probably over. A walk to the barn, maybe to the pond but that’s probably enough. She would prefer then to head home but she wouldn’t turn back as long as a walk was ahead of her. She’d follow me as far as I went. So I won’t go far. She loved the snow today and I’m glad to have had her with me.


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