Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

Yay Spring!

by Kris Phillips

It seems like we completely skipped winter this year, there’s no denying that Spring is upon us. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than taking the pups out on the trail. Last weekend my husband & I enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning before loading up the fur-kids and heading to the mountains. As the truck wound up the 74 toward O’Fallon park the dogs got more and more restless, shifting and whining from the back seat. Clearly they know the road as well as we do, and they know that adventure awaits. Pulling into the parking lot our backseat erupted in a two-dog chorus of excitement, like little kids on Christmas morning.

With all the daily pressure of life; bills and taxes, maintaining the house and the cars, working and working out it’s so easy to forget the simple joys. It’s not like Yukon and Swota never get out, we jog a few miles a few times a week, and Robbie takes them for shorter walks daily. But in recent weeks I had begun to worry more about Yukon slowing down and showing his 11 years. He’d begun to lag behind on our jogs, and I wondered if I shouldn’t start leaving him at home, if I was pushing him too hard. But the smell of fresh mountain air seemed to supercharge them, or maybe it was the cold creek water.

Once their pads hit the dirt their excitement was contagious and all the daily drudgery waiting back in the city was forgotten. It was a perfect day for hiking, just a little overcast and enough of a breeze to cool us off as we meandered out into the wild. Within a quarter mile up the trail I noticed Yukon was charging ahead like a pup half his age. It would seem our daily walks weren’t showing his age but his boredom. As we wound up Bear Creek Trail the wind in the trees, chirping birds, and angry squirrels cheered us along.

On our return, we stopped to enjoy one of my favorite parts of this trail. I sat quietly on the creek’s edge and watched Swota splash around. Before long Yukon laid down next to me to enjoy the calm moment. When life is at its craziest, it becomes most important to stop and enjoy the little moments.

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