Posts Tagged ‘Newfoundland dogs’

Gone Is The Wind But Dreaming Of A Little Snow

Monday, December 20th, 2010

One of the things I have always loved about the Eastern Shore of Virginia is its great weather- long pleasant autumns and springs,  hot parts of summer and winter quite short.  And fall this year was beautiful,  gorgeous blue October skies,  perfect temperatures most of the time, trees more exuberant than usual in November with their colorful foliage.   The first week of December was nice too– started out in the high 60’s and averaged in the mid-40’s.   But  last week was a proverbial pain in the you-know-what, with temperatures in the mid-30’s and breezy too.   Definitely not my kind of weather at all but sometimes you get  to take the bad with the good.

Sunrise Over The Orchard

And wouldn’t you know it,  these chilly temps and windy days came just as we were waiting for the installer to come back to add a loop to the dog’s invisible fence.  When the fence was originally installed we didn’t run it across the gate area figuring that the gate was so far away from the house that the dogs would never figure out that it was a free zone.   Wrong again,  the two Newfies  figured it all out although it took them a while  to do so.  Naturally they took advantage of this new-found knowledge to sneak a visit to the dogs next door,  next door being about a 50 acre farm so they have a ways to travel to make a visit.  And although our human neighbor loves Pumpkin and Honey,  his dogs are a bit scared of  them.  Pumpkin is now sized more like a small pony than a dog,  Honey a close second.  There is nothing in the world, including food,  that Pumpkin and Honey like better than to meet other dogs and start to play,  making little woofing sounds  and doing the prancing around thing to encourage a game of tag.  However,  to a small dog,  I imagine that the so-called little woofing sounds are more like a deep base barks and the prancing around likely involves having a 150 pound playmate’s  foot land on you somewhere.  So it’s easy to see why our dogs can sometimes be a bit intimidating to their smaller brethren.  In the meantime,  before the installer got  here  ( he does this only part-time so unfortunately,  it was  going to be another few days ) as the person who gets up first,  I was elected to take the dogs out for their first duty call of the day,  usually in my fluffy warm bathrobe,  fleece scarf,  maybe even gloves.  The last couple of days before he came were cold and windy,  unusually windy,  I had been muttering hurry up,  hurry up,  HURRY UP as the dogs dawdled around.   But then Tuesday the wind was gone,  it was just beautiful,  with crisp,  calm air.  Out there about 6:30 am,  the sun was just coming up over the woods,  the sky an azure blue,  punctuated with  small,  fluffy clouds, everything overlaid with a deep, deep pink glow,  just gorgeous.   

A Little Sunrise Water Colour In Shades Of Pink And Violet

 Zipping  Honey back  inside,  I grabbed my camera,  setting out with Pumpkin  to try and capture the wintry scene.  High overhead,  honking  geese were heading in the direction of our neighbor’s pond– the sounds always intrigue Pumpkin,  although I’m never sure if she can actually see them,  she does love hearing them.   I was a bit late to film the very deepest colors over the orchard but the waterfront  was starting to pink up nicely.  Click, click, click,   then back inside for a hot cup of coffee,  a  pot of  “Machipongo Morning”,  a delicious blend from the Eastern Shore Roasting Company located in Exmore, Virginia.   I  brewed  an extra full  pot  because the weatherman had said  we were going to get an inch or more of actual white flakes before it turned to rain.  Since Northampton County almost always gets  rain instead when nearby places get snow ( the moderating influence of  the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean at our very narrow southern tip), when  the weatherman says snow,  I always want to make the most of  this little treat of  Nature,  by  just relaxing,  coffee mug in hand,  watching the flakes as they fall,  fall,  fall,  knowing  that likely they will be melted and gone by the next day.

Measuring With Frogs, Swimming With Geese– A Peek Into The Life Of Two Dogs On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Little Honey getting modeling advice from Pumpkin, May 2010

In July I posted a little story about how my daughter  “measures”  her dogs by posing them next to a couple of funky yard ornaments,  two frogs to be exact.   A couple days ago  it was time to  take the autumn measurements  of  these two bronze  Newfoundlands.   But  the very sweet Pumpkin,  now two plus years and the feisty Honey,  nine months,  had to be coaxed into primping  for the camera next to the quirky tall metal frogs.     They just really were not in the mood for a photo shoot .  Being a bit breezy that day on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  dry leaves were gently fluttering down from many of  the trees,   rustling and swirling all across the backyard.   Both of   “the  girls” ,  as my husband likes to call them,  were infinitely more interested in chasing  leaves rather than posing docilely for the camera.  Leashes had to be produced and many commands of  “sit” and “stay” were given before a semi-satisfactory shot was obtained.  But the principal objective was finally met,  leashes removed  and off they set  in a mad dash,  crossing  the lawn in wild pursuit of who knows what canine goal.  Chasing deer is their very favorite pursuit.  If they see a deer in the yard,  usually following a little trail down by the water,  they give  great excited barks  and set off  at a gallop trying to catch one– apparently they will never learn that  deer run  multiples of times faster than dogs,  or maybe they’re  just doing the dog version of the 50 yard dash.   Anyway,  I  think they would probably freak out if they actually  ever really got close to  one.  Fortunately there’s no worry about that happening because  deer are so agile they could just jump past a mere dog in a single bound.   Which reminds me of  a  “dogs interacting with other animals”  little story my husband related to  me  the other day.


Honey and Pumpkin, Measured With Frogs, November 2010

Pumpkin and Honey,   being Newfies,  and Newfies traditionally being water rescue dogs,  both adore swimming.  In the summer they love to go down to the inlet and swim in the salt water and do so just about every single day.  Last week,   my husband and the dogs were just sitting out on the deck,  enjoying some late day sun.  This being the time of year that flocks of  geese start  returning to the Eastern Shore to enjoy our mild winters,  a large flock passed overhead,  honking loudly as geese always do,  aiming  to set down in  the water just off our backyard.   The dogs stood up,  cocking their heads,  listening to all the noise  and then bounded  off for the shoreline,  which is about 350 feet from the deck.   By that time the geese,  with their  usual fanfare,  were settling down in the water  just off the area where  the dogs usually enter to swim.   My husband followed the dogs  on down,  hoping to get a good view of the flock,   assuming the geese would take off as soon as the dogs arrived on the scene.   But the geese didn’t seem to mind the dogs,  actually totally ignored them .   Into the water went Pumpkin and Honey,  quietly ,  not barking or carrying on at all.   And then they proceeded to swim along with the geese,  who were bobbing around not more than 20 feet away from them !   I have never heard of such a thing before but  my husband swears,  Scout’s Honor and pinkie swear,  that every word is true.  I can tell you that a human can’t get anywhere near that close to a flock of geese because the whole flock  will take to the air in a flash,  wings beating,  loudly honking.   And if only my husband  had his camera with him,  I would have loved  a  shot  of  Honey and Pumpkin,  slowly swimming with geese.