We’re down to -35°C right now and I’ve slowly morphed into my deep winter gear, which includes multiple layers of life saving, skin warming fabrics. Today the Skookum parka finally came out!

Hank just doesn’t get cold. At least not when he’s moving. What a remarkable difference over the dogs we’ve owned in the past.I’ve noticed a few interesting differences with Hank over the retrievers we’ve had in the past:

  • He doesn’t get cold feet – doesn’t dance around lifting them up
  • He shivers sometimes if he isn’t moving, but even on a leashed walk he stays quite warm, even those big ears!
  • He watches things without barking or showing much excitement
  • He watches birds and helicopters fly by
  • He has a homing beacon and always knows where home is. We can be walking 2km away and he knows the instant we turn towards home and pulls harder. I could see him building this information as a wee puppy when he didn’t want to go too far from his home.
  • He prefers to pee and poo in his own yard.
  • He doesn’t pant. He went for a hike for over an hour with Jeff and came inside and didn’t pant at all.
  • He watches tv. Not just glimpsing at it. He watches it intently. When there are sirens he’ll run up to the speakers. Last night he watched Dr. Who.

But one similarity, he loves fetching a ball and brings it right back. A Winger like junior! Makes me smile.

I try to walk him for 30 minutes around 6:30-7am so he rests contently while I work, at least until lunch. It’s not the easiest commitment, I’ll be honest. I like to sleep in. And it’s cold and dark out. But once I’m out there walking with him it isn’t so bad.

A few times a week we meet his litter brother and sometimes his sister too, at the local dog park. He’s pretty good with all the other dogs that come to the park too. I sometimes fear he’s going to want to play with a bigger dog who isn’t into it, but he’s getting good about being submissive when he needs to be, but overall, he really doesn’t have much fear of anything.

We especially go to the dog park if we want to go out that night. While Hank sleeps, we can do grown up things, like drink beer. (Sometimes I feel like we’re parents.)

Here are some other pictures of the last week. Here’s a glimpse of our dump:Here is the old Bank of British North America: And the Red Feather Saloon:Most nights we try to keep Hank loose for a bit hanging out in the living room with us. Eventually he gets too naughty and has to go to bed. Here he is being a helpful arm rest: Last weekend was the first time he ever laid down and went to sleep in the living room on the floor. What a treat! It’s going to be nice when he is older and calmer and can just be loose in the house with us without needing constant supervision (and scolding) (I mean training).Hard to believe how big he is already, isn’t it?The sun is still hitting the house for a brief moment in the afternoon. The sunset today was 4:10pm but the next shots were all around 3pm and you can see how low the sun is. Here’s a few from the dog park today at 3pm. It’s cold. A nice sun dog can be seen to the left of the sun in one photo, and you can see the steam from the river where it hasn’t froze. My winter gear is doing well, except for my footwear. My Muck boots, the Arctic Sport ones, just aren’t cutting it anymore, most especially when I’m standing relatively still at the dog park. They are rated for -40 but my toes get very, very painfully cold at -25 or below, in less than an hour. I’ve tried out some heated ThermaCELL battery powered insoles that Jeff’s brother sent up. Unfortunately they aren’t great – not warm where I need them to be warm, and the battery life is too short. Since there is many months of winter ahead of us, I just ordered a pair of -100C rated Baffin boots so I’m eager for them to arrive!