Retirement Village

We liked looking at other people’s fine dogs but we got homesick for our own. So we came back from Duluth today while the Beargrease sled dog teams were still running, to retrieve our own two sled dogs from the kennel.

Before the kennel lady went to fetch our dogs from their “room,” she brought out one of their big overstuffed beds with a sign that said “SWIRL AND PUNCHY ATE THEIR BED pinned to it. Also attached was a bag of the bed’s stuffing. So it wasn’t entirely true that they’d eaten one of their beds, they had, however, murdered it.

“I think they were bored,” she said bringing out the second bed, this one still intact. They had roomed together so there’s no figuring why one bed was obliterated and not the other. They have their own system of decision-making. It is foreign to me.

They probably are bored. It is winter. Last winter, both Punchy and Swirl were working dogs, except if you look at pictures of them pulling sleds, they don’t look like they’re working. They look happy, tails up, big smiles. They must miss trotting through the pines of the U.P. and being with all their mates.

Oh, I think they like being retired. They get a lot of attention and their dog lives are pretty cushy. But I don’t think they’ve figured out how to handle it, like who am I now that I’m not pulling a sled? You know, like a sled dog identity crisis. I try to tell them that they’ll figure it out but they’re not all that interested in my opinion.

They’ll just have to figure it out on their own like everyone else.

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