Monday, May 4, 2009

Springtime in Mount Laguna

Janka (R) with Levi (M) and Leyna (L)
Rocky Mountain Dog

Yesterday, a typically lovely day in Southern California, Janka and I joined a friend and her two German Shepherds for a spring hike in Mount Laguna.

The last time we were up there, the beautiful mountain scape was dusted in snow. It was amazing to watch the seasonal transformation from a frosty stillness to an abundance of vibrant life, music and colours blanketing the mountainside. The dogs were ecstatic. Basking in the spring sunshine, the three German Shepherds were lopping over fallen limbs, leaping up moss-covered boulders, dashing through the lush grass, sniffing the spring flowers, eagerly seeking the forest's inhabitants for an excuse for a game of chase and run.

At 18 months, Janka is almost fully grown. She carries herself with all the subtle dignity of the beautiful, noble German Shepherd. Her head is feminine, and her built is wiry and trim. I love how those satin-soft bat-like ears frame her face, her expressive amber eyes shining with intelligence, good humour and mischief.

There is never a bad dog day for Janka, and when she greets me every morning, it is filled with joyful optimism, as if to say, "Today is a new day! Give me a pat, and we will seize the day together!" The affection, love and happiness that spread out like a warm, sunny embrace is so palpable, the intensity never wavers from day to day.

She truly loves with 100%. And I am immensely blessed to be at the other end of that love.

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