It's Christmas - a beautiful, bright sunny day laced with frost! The dogs spilled out of the kennel into the play yard this morning in full on play mode! Festive! That is the best word to describe Rover's Ranch today. Imagine the "high energy group" of dogs scooping up mouthfuls of powdery snow as they bound out together to play. We have a contingent of German Shorthair Pointers and they LOVE to run! The "little dog/geriatric/surgery recovery groups" are equally joyful. These dogs are all fired up about a little vole who took a wrong turn under the snow and surfaced at the far end of the play yard. Needless to say, the vole beat a hasty retreat, leaving the dogs to each claim victory! What a great holiday crew we have!!!
Today at Rover's Ranch is a special day. It is the birthday of two of our personal dogs - Kip, our red and white border collie, turns 13 years old today, and Kiya, our red merle australian shepard, turns 12. They are officially seniors - Kip more so than Kiya. Today's birthday celebration was low key - a walk with the dogs at Big Valley in the new fallen snow and some one-on-one toy time with both of the birthday kids. Tonight Kiya will get some extra snuggle time. Kip, even at age 13 is still all about the ball. These days, Kip just holds the ball in his mouth and bounces around with it a little.
Senior dogs are special. They have so much history with their families. They have a whole treasure trove of experiences that no doubt have helped shape who they are. They are bursting with love and excitement over all the old familiar scents, friends, outings, and fun places and activities, but they just can't quite navigate things as easily anymore. There is nothing better, though, than being there with our senior dogs and recognizing how much we share with them and how absolutely grand life is with them.
Meanwhile, all of Rover's Ranch's canine customers, had a day of celebration of their own: they welcomed the new falling snow with open mouths and long tongues as they romped and frolicked. What a joyful bunch! What is it about new snow that makes dogs so happy?
Kathryn Heim is "Mutt Mama" at Rover's Ranch Dog Boarding. In addition to helping her husband Patrick care for their canine boarders, she sometimes writes an observation or two here.