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As difficult as this is to admit, our little Karina is not perfect. Not only does she eat sticks, she swallows them! At first this seemed like typical puppy behavior. And as she grew older, her craving for sticks seemed to abate. We thought that she was finally kicking the habit.

But, like many addictions, this one was not easily overcome. Paul did some research and, as we had begun to suspect, this recurring habit is a common symptom of boredom. Yup, our little princess is such a smarty pants that we have to keep her interested. Unlike me, she finds routine tedious rather than comforting. Imagine that!

So this week, we changed up our morning walks. On Tuesday, we went to Mount Misery. Yesterday, we did our usual route, only backwards. So far, so good, nary a stick was chewed.

This morning, we headed to a trail recommended by a fellow dog walker. When we set off, there were thick clouds overhead, and the temperature was closing in on 60 degrees Fahrenheit —January thaw on steroids.

Even though the mild temperature made my environmentalist side cringe, my inner fashionista was thrilled to forgo the down coat and wear my cool, new jacket — a Christmas present from Paul!

The ground was soft, and spongy, the air like velvet — in spite of a gusty wind.

Heading in

further in

The trail took us along the Sudbury River.



After a while it started to spit rain, but we kept going. Suddenly, the wind was whipping all around us, and we heard a long, loud, craaaack. The reverberations wrapped themselves around me. Karina bolted back to my side.

Was it thunder? After a few seconds, it became clear that the wind had knocked down what must have been an enormous tree on the other side of the river.

Giant trees swayed all around us, their branches ominously waving. The rain poured down in earnest. We ran back to the car.


We arrived home a bit wet, but no one was bored — and no sticks were consumed.