A few days ago LC and I (armed with sandwich bags filled with hot dog slices) took Kory out onto BLM land and released her from the bondage of her leash.
We have done this a few times over the past week and she is enjoying her runs, almost as much as we are enjoying watching her run.
This particular day could only be described as socked in.
An interesting and welcoming mix of cold and mist, that surrounded the town of Atomic City so heavily that it felt as though we were the only two people in our world of icy sage brush and lava rock.
With visibility low, we slowly drove out to a very large, flat section of public land about two miles from the house.
The same area where we have run with her previously, that is close to seven tall rocky mounds, and that is slowly becoming familiar to our pup.
After our first session with Kory (where she turned as soon as we unhooked her from her leash and commenced to run at full speed away from us), she has settled into these sessions, and the sheer joy we see in her when she runs makes us both smile.
Neither LC nor I are confident in her yet and get the strong sense that she could take off again at any moment.
Maybe that is truly the reality of it.
Maybe we are both still gun shy after our first experience doing this, and are afraid to lose her.
Driven by her nose, her strong desire to follow tracks, and her unknown history, we are taking it slowly and hot-dog-motivating her to respond quickly when we call to her.
The picture above was taken on this trip, and LC had called Kory to him.
As Kory eagerly approached, LC raised his arm over his head and encouraged our athletic dog to jump for the treat.
In effortless bounds, she performed this feat over and over.
When I think of Jamie I remember a trail dog who enthusiastically strode like a samurai. When I watch Kory I see a trail dog who moves like a race horse...............
I can't put into words just how outstanding these kinds of days are.
Gray, cold but not freezing, mist so thick that the buttes that surround us disappear into the nothingness of the rest of the world.
Endless, people-less land where LC and I can roam freely and where our new dog can run at will.
It is hard to catch her in photographs because the distances are so great and because she moves so quickly.
But I managed to capture Kory in full stride in this picture............
And then back to LC for a treat when he called to her.............
This was the first time we took Kory (unleashed) off trail.
Curious to see how she would respond as we roamed in and out of snow-covered sage bushes, we made our way up to the first of the seven rock hills that sit in a circle in the desert...........
There was no mindless trance, as there had been on that first day.
No strong and single-minded desire to run. So strong and single-minded that she would ignore our calls.
She wandered. I called or LC called, and she returned to us..............
As we three began to climb and explore each of the rock hills I looked up at the sky and then looked around me.
There were patches of blue sky beginning to appear, and for a while I thought that the icy mist was going to burn off................
Running towards me when I called her.............
By the time we headed home I looked up and realized that the sun - that had been battling the sky and the mist for dominance - was going to lose.
The day would stay grey after all.
And I wasn't disappointed............
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am..............Author Unknown