Tomorrow is supposed to be very windy, with rain. So today we are getting as much done as we can outside – riding as many horses, raking leaves, and it turns out, late night dog walking in the pasture.
Even though the moon is nearly full, it is dark outside tonight. The cloud cover has overpowered the luminosity of the moon and a southeast breeze blows forebodingly. But it is still mild enough out for a walk and we take the three dogs out.
Dory, who is 3 months old now, is a new addition to our family. She was mostly ignored the first 8 weeks of her life, so she arrived fairly skittish. Peppa, the Newfoundland, immediately understood the situation and took Dory under her wing, showing her all the good hangouts at our place, where varmints live or even momentarily passed by in the last 6 years, and that life is good here. Now we are doing our part to show Dory that people are good too, thus the late-night pasture walks, clicker training at the Animal Rescue League and patience when she occasionally gets scared of something and runs from us. That part makes us both very sad. It is hard to not take it personally when a puppy runs away when all you want to do is comfort her. She is getting much better at coming to us when loud noises and scary things, which are many to her, happen. She is starting to see us as protectors and we are delighted.
Thus the pasture walk in the dark tonight. Another opportunity to bond, to show Dory that we are fun to be around. About 400 yards into the pasture, after we had joked that if we didn’t walk into a jump it would be a miracle with our lack of visibility, a silent horse form appeared, white stockings announcing the presence of Elliot. He stood quietly as we walked up and we petted him while he lowered his head and accepted our affection. I moved back along his neck and over his shoulders, petting his developing winter coat in long strokes. I was amazed with how smooth and silky it was. Soft and springy as spring grass, and nearly as sweet smelling. He turned and looked at me with his big soft eyes as if to say, “Did you forget how sweet we are?” I had. These cooler days I have been wearing gloves most of the time, and in a little bit of a hurry here or there, so I hadn’t petted a horse barehanded and really paid attention to the luxuriousness of a horse’s coat in, well, a while. I just hung out a few minutes and really felt his coat while the breeze blew and the dogs and Jay played.
I had intended to do something nice for one animal, to spend some time with Dory, and I was thereby blessed with a reminder of the magnificence of experiencing something so familiar, but altogether new. Glad I got off the couch.