Beautiful cold crisp -19c day with not too much wind. It has been mostly cold this week so we decided to do a ‘lake loop’ around the edge of the lake (on the ice) we usually walk beside when we do our normal walking loop.
We trailblazed up beside the stillwater to our usual spot across from the old twisted tree on the far sade of the water. (Note the location on the ice at the tip of A*’s nose for later in the post). When we got up and onto the lake it was very solid but to be on the safe side we kept to within 8ft of the shore. It is a shallow lake but we would not want to break through. Another thing we noticed when we got on the ice was that something got onto the lake too about a km away and it stopped when it saw/heard us then crossed over the lake. Hard to see but when we got to the tracks it was a coyote without a doubt. The tracks picture below show the coyote slowing down and looking in the direction we were when we saw each other..and me without a high powered varmint gun.( I actually need to get one of those guns..and more importantly, the will to want to use one. I will just stick to the defence we have been using so far to scare coyotes(an anvil).groan.)
And a lichen based bottomless heart maple tree.
So we trekked around the lake. Loki especially had a good time. She proabably did 2 loops with all the running in the woods she did as we made the circle.
When we finish the loop we are on the other side of a stream that flows into the stillwater. There are a couple of logs down to cross over the still flowing stream up at the lake. We cross then begin walking the 100 ft along the stream to our stillwater. Jango crosses but Loki was after a squirrel so she is on the other side…still chasing. She comes to the stream near us on the other side on the stream and walks along with us (on her side). There are plenty of places to cross the stream and it is 6 inches deep in many places (Jango strolls through it). Loki does not want to get her feet wet so we are encouraging her to cross..we don’t want to make a big deal of it..so we say ‘lets just walk away, she will cross, shes being a wimp’..we walk 5 stepsand her whining stops, we walk 5 more steps and turn expecting to see her crossing the brook..well she was trying to cross..she had run 25 feet down the brook and she was now 1/2 way out to the spot I mentioned earlier in the shot of A*. On ice about 2inches thick. I had enough time to yell ‘no, no, no Loki! This way!’ and as I made my way towards the stillwater A* yelled/sobbed in a voice I have never heard from her before..and Loki broke through 6 feet from the open area in the picture about 40ft from shore. Loki came with a safety vest for the water when we got her. The owner said they tried swimming with her and she sank..this was all I could think..(plus if she went under the ice in the hole she would be trapped). As I pass A* in a full sprint I throw her my phone as I prepare to enter the water and icebreak way to loki..and 5 ft before I get to the water Loki gets her front claws in semi solid ice..some more ice breaks but she manages to pull herself out and skampers to solid ground. 15 of the worst seconds of dog ownership I have ever had as I was running over those snow covered slippery boulders with terrible consequences spinning through my head…there is only 1 deep spot in the whole stillwater and this is where we were. Scary.
All my fault really but I think Loki’s speed is partially to blame. That situation went from normal to shit in 10 seconds flat. (Loki comes on command now and will sit on command at any distance so normally I would not worry about her getting into trouble..but making her sit on thin ice or calling her to come (with the open spot in the water between us) did not seem like viable options at the time..especially when the adrenalin kicked in and my fight or flight instinct was telling me to book a flight to Tahiti!)
Oh well. Alls well that ends well. Loki still would not cross the stream after the incident so I still needed to help her get to our side (she still did not want her feet wet even though drenched)..diva dog. Hopefully this all fills our ‘sheer terror’ quota for the year…but it did get me thinking that I should try ice fishing…I know the perfect candidate for the ‘hole creation’ position.
Sorry for no shots of the hole in the ice..but the only shots I was thinking of after loki’s ice-capades was jack daniels. My nerves!