Well, looks like I made it to 33 years. This month has actually been pretty awful, unfortunately, so I decided to pull out the big guns of self-care and take myself to Harbin Hot Springs
. Hippy-skippy it may be, but it remains a beautiful place for meditation, bodywork but mostly for soaking in wonderful hot spring water for hours on end, without nasty unpleasant clothing to get in the way of the watery goodness. I assure you that by the end of 6 hours I was one soaked-boneless, blissy jackal. Local people, ya gotta try this thing. Sooooooooo good. mmmmmmmmmm water.
I think it's worth mentioning that this place has a labyrinth, which is one of my favorite meditation tools. I walked it, which I usually do when one is available...and ended up spontaneously foxtrotting, albiet slowly, on the way out. Given that my brain was completely empty otherwise at the time, I find this a little bit hilarious. After that, there was more water.
Yesterday, Coba had his very own watery experience, when I took him to accompany Dancer and I on a ride. Coba is at that stage of puppyhood when they are absolutely made of OMG ENERGY
and nothing else. I can walk this dog for a couple of hours, and at the end, he's enthusiastically saying in his wee puppy pup way, "That was a great walk! Can we go for another? RIGHT NOW? I think it's a grand idea!" Seriously, the energy does not end; there's a reason many dogs between one and three wind up in shelters.
With this in mind, it seems only sensible to try him out on a trail ride. Of course I've always loved the fantasy of riding my faithful steed through the woods, faithful dog at heel; in practice, I've usually boarded where one has to cross roads or other obstacles which would be unsafe for the dog, or where there are other dogs, which rules out Jez and Pryde. I do not want to deal with a horse and a dogfight at the same time, thanks. Coba is obedient and not a fighter, and went absolutely gleeful with joy when he realized what was up, running polite circles around Dancer for at least half the ride. (Dancer, for his part, was polite back, but perhaps not completely thrilled to be sharing our time with another animal. I swear he rolled his eye at me at one point, and I could almost hear, "You have to be kidding. This
is your dog?")
When it came to cross the river, though, Coba was not thrilled. Shelties don't swim very well...the ratio of fluff to body is just too high...but I'd prefer him to be used to the idea before we go backpacking this summer, and, well, it's a dog skill he needs to know. Watching his little brain work as he tried to figure out where he needed to cross to stay out of the current, and where the shallowest routes were, was pretty neat...it was a tricky puzzle for a small dog, and required quite a bit of physical effort no matter where he crossed. Of course, he'll eventually learn to follow where I cross, since I pick the shallowest, easiest route (I hope). Coba succeeded admirably...four times, no less. And he was so proud of himself.
It's worth mentioning that a sheltie puppy cannot keep pace with a cantering horse, although he certainly tried. When I stopped and turned around, Coba was in full, bounding flight, all four paws off the ground at every other pace. I will attempt to get pictures if I can. I was in stitches.
But after all this, you want to know the burning question: did I succeed in tiring the puppy?
Of course not. He was bright-eyed and ready for more as soon as we got home.
Personally, I wanted to soak in hot water.