But this weekend found the bear having succumbed to those heavy eyes! Rain had turned to snow and while the land slumbered there was nothing to do but play on top of it. Theodore was beside himself with glee, snowplowing, rolling, shaking and galloping. We broke trail through the maple forest and while Jon’s and my paths were reasonably straight, Theodore’s wove left and right like that of a cheerful drunk. Remember that our little guy’s legs are barely 6 inches (I’m being generous) — about the same depth as the snow on Saturday. Sometimes he had to fall behind to chew off the snowballs building on his low undercarriage, only to reappear over a hill in a frenzy of catch-up haste.
It took me about twenty minutes to carefully tease off the ten pounds of iceballs on Theodore’s nether regions. To tell you the truth we were both pretty nervous, given the delicate location. But it did prove that Theodore may not be as dim as we had feared, because on Day 2 he contentedly trotted behind us like a prince, deigning to let our feet do the road work and keeping his own powder dry, so to speak.
Skye terriers may not be built for snowy cross-country hikes but their excess of personality more than compensates for a body designed by a fractious committee. When we finish laughing, Jon and I remind ourselves at times like this that our pack will always be enriched by a wee lassie like Jewell or a wee laddie like Theodore. Skye terriers are literally a vanishing breed, like bears in suburban forests.
Both are irreplacable.