Hounded (and Happy) in the Yukon Woods

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed sitting a house with a dog over the holidays.  I got to spend two weeks with a fine German Shepherd named Qimmik.  He’s about 5 years old and over the last while we’ve bonded.  How do I know this?  He wants to go on long walks with me, but he doesn’t run that far ahead.  And when I get out of breath–dang hill I had to climb–he walks slowly ahead of me and turns to check on me, leading me back home.  He even waits till I catch up with him.  

He’ll greet other dogs—very friendly–but he’ll stick close to me, and walk beside me most of the time.  He protects me from being too “hounded” –but in a way, I like being “hounded”–encountering dogs in the woods that greet you, as if they are the doorgreeters.  And with Qimmik, I’ve become permanently “hounded”.  And this is a good thing.  

I LOVE dogs.  I want a dog.  And I love their company.  This one is a great companion.  I wish he could talk, honestly.  So I could understand what he wants.  But sometimes he just wants to be with me.  

When I get home he’s wound up like a top–runs, gets excited, out of breath, jumps!  So we go on a walk right away.  And he also sleeps in the same bed, down at the bottom of the bed.  He breathes at night, and he sighs really big if I’m turning over too much.  I like his company and the structure he gives my day.  It’s too bad that I have to give him up on Wednesday.  

There’s a great culture of dog owners in the Yukon–nearly everyone I meet has a dog or two or three….  And everyone walks their dogs in the woods, so you meet lots of people.  

I did make this video, my first iMovie, of Qimmik and I walking each other on Christmas Eve.  I made it as a gift for a dear friend, Susan Zettell, who let me sit her house 8 years ago, with her dog, Misery.  It was a wonderful time.  

In the video, it’s mostly him in the woods.  I set it to Bon Iver’s “Woods” a song that builds and builds with the same four lines:

I’m up in the woods

And I’m down on my mind

I’m building a still

to slow down the time.  

                                         —until there are multiple voices, multiple harmonies.  I’d like to slow down the time and enjoy the season more, enjoy the moment more, enjoy just being in the woods….

Hoping you get “hounded” this year, and you enjoy being “hounded” by the four footed friend that loves you most.  (Okay, even you catted people count….or are you felined….)  

Be Hounded and Happy.