Wednesday, December 31, 2014

North Country Animal Shelter - Part 2

I'd checked out both indoor and outdoor dogs (see yesterday's post) and walked away from the dog building wondering if they had cats:

I stopped along the way to say hello to this tiny dog in a red jacket:

His red friend joined him to bark excitedly. Just then, a woman arrived to let them out and they greeted me with great enthusiasm. It appeared that they were only outdoors briefly for a bit of fresh air. I learned that this pair could only be adopted together:

I walked over to the cat building, which had a sign on the door with the warning to open it cautiously as the cats were not caged:

And indeed they were not. I marveled at how clean everything was and how well all the cats got along. A family was looking for a cat to adopt:

There were cats everywhere and had been given lots of high perches and "highways" to travel:

I didn't notice it until I got home and was editing the photos, but the cat on the right could be a contestant for one of the websites for "Cats That Look Like Hitler" or, as they are sometimes called, "Kitlers:"

This girl had found a cat, about half grown, which was extraordinarily affectionate and she wanted to adopt it. Her mother thought the cat's great friendliness might be annoying. I butted in, saying that was kittenish behavior and if they needed a more staid cat, to choose an adult. Ignoring my advice, they then headed to the building where the younger kittens were kept:

The cats were clean, well cared for and looked mighty contented:

With every color combination I could imagine:

I met the Shelter manager, who introduced me to Stevie, a tiny, blind special pet she kept in her office. He was found, blind and lost, during the winter and, once rescued, became her beloved companion:

I left the shelter with mixed emotions. I hated to see some dogs kept outdoors although they all looked happy, healthy and comfortable. I also worried about the great number of animals they had compared to the miniscule number of adopters looking for pets (only one family on that Saturday afternoon). But I also got a good feeling about the place and found the people warm and caring, the pets clean and well taken care of. I think that if I were to again volunteer at a Shelter, this would be the one:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

North Country Animal Shelter - Part 1

I'd intended to pay a visit to the North Country Animal Shelter in the town of Malone, New York for a long time and it finally happened one beautiful Saturday:

There was only enough parking for a few cars and I had to enter through a chain link fence gate with side by side signs which proclaimed both "Open" and "No Admittance." I was a bit intimidated, but gave it a try:

The scenery was lovely, set in a snowy pine forest:

I walked past some outdoor pens with dogs in them and entered the dog building, where the small dogs, short haired dogs and puppies were kept:

Unlike most shelters, this one had lots of puppies:

And lots of small dogs:

This Poodle mix look frightened, so I spoke softly, hoping to calm it:

While other dogs, of course, were barking for attention:

I was told that this older dog, with the sad face and the short legs, already had a family who would pick him up soon:

I left the building and checked out the outdoor pens. In this northern climate, the idea of dogs being left outdoors was troubling, but I had to admit they all looked comfortable and happy. Each pen was wrapped in tarps to keep out the wind and each dog seemed to have a dog house and soft bed:

There was a row of smaller kennels, filled with dogs. Even though this was a Saturday, I was the only person looking at the dogs and I could only hope that they got more adoptions than what I was seeing:

This dog, near the entrance, looked all alone and I wondered if he might be antagonistic to other dogs. I decided to check out the cat building next, but I'll post about that tomorrow:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter Cathedral Of Pines - Part 3

The dogs and I were hiking on the Red Dot Trail (see previous two posts) and on our way back through the wintry beauty to the trail head:

I've never hiked this trail in the summer, but I can tell you that it's absolutely spectacular in the winter:

Clover ran on ahead and waited for us to catch up, but Daphne kept running back to check with me:

Seamus is given to gazing off into the trees and thinking deep, doggy thoughts - whatever those may be:

I didn't cross this bridge when we came to it, but the dogs sure did, running back and forth across the water just for the fun of it:

I heard no bird songs or calls, saw no animal tracks. It was quiet and mysterious:

The two Papillons continued to bounce and play:

Almost there:

We made it back to Osgood Pond, where Clover once again went to the shore to contemplate its mysteries:

Daphne joined her, appearing as if some force of nature was beckoning them:

But we continued on:

When we arrived at the trail head, the two Papillons finally ran out onto the ice of Osgood Pond. They ran full speed, headed for that peninsula, and then full speed back to join the rest of us as we plodded up the road to our parked car:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter Cathedral Of Pines - Part 2

I was hiking the Red Dot Trail with the dogs (see Part 1, yesterday) and we'd nearly reached Church Pond. The dogs were excited and began picking up speed as we approached:
Church Pond has a very nice lean-to and we all gave that a thorough examination:

Then we walked down to Church Pond and I went (very carefully) out onto the narrow, sinking dock for a photo down the length of the pond's icy surface:

But then it was time to continue on:

I walked and the dogs ran until we got to an intersection which gave me the choice of going down a steep, snowy hill or turning right and going uphill where no one had yet broken the snow. Since I was wearing only my braces and sneakers (which is all that will fit over the braces), I decided instead to turn back the way we'd come:

That was fine with the dogs and they ran on ahead with almost as much excitement as when we'd begun:

The big pines made it almost cathedral-like, and the dogs looked quite small beneath them:

The dogs may not have gotten tired, but just about this time they began to get snow stuck up between the pads of their paws. That slowed them down with occasional stops to clean their paws:

We once again began to see Osgood Pond off through the trees:

I decided that the first part of the hike was the most beautiful and was happy to be traveling through it once again:

The dogs had slowed down by then, but as you can see by Fergus' ears, they were still running:

And there were moments of quiet reflection. Yes, even for the dogs. But we weren't finished yet. I'll post Part 3 tomorrow:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter Cathedral Of Pines - Part 1

I took the dogs back to the Red Dot Trail the other day to hike in the snow. It's been two years since we were there and it was a snowy Christmas season then also:

The temperature was just about freezing and quite pleasant, and there was still enough snow on the ground and trees to be beautiful:

It was all so quiet and isolated that I let the dogs run to their heart's content - as you can see by how they crossed this little bridge:

The trail began alongside Osgood Pond, which was frozen over, and the dogs found it fascinating:

And I too found it fascinating - quiet and eerie, with muted colors:

The trail took us alongside a sort of canal between Osgood Pond and Church Pond:

The wet snow had been clinging to the trees for many days and I'm glad I got there in time to see its beauty:

I hate to use the trite expression, "Winter Wonderland," but it sure fits. I guess that's why it's used so often. The dogs, as you can see, were still running full speed:

Clover kept running so far ahead that I eventually began calling her back. She's happy to come when called. It's all part of the fun for her:

Daphne too was running full speed, back and forth, stopping occasionally to check with me to be sure everything was OK:

We rounded a bend and I knew that Church Pond was just ahead:

The dogs also sensed that we were approaching something, but I'll post about that in Part 2 tomorrow: