a cold, cold day

Hello again everyone; yes, it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, Chess the long-suffering purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden and its environs. (I’ve wanted to use that word for a while now.) You may remember me from such wonderful posts as “Some Real Gardening” and “The Seed Whisperer”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically long-suffering pose. The guy I live with says the reason these pictures of me are out of focus is that I’m too close to the camera. I’m sure that’s it.


It was quite a day, let me tell you. Pretty delightfully chilly, and sunny too. I know the min-max thermometer isn’t very clean, but what can you do.




Look at how the new sand pile blends in now. (The guy I live with thinks this is funny. He thinks a lot of things are funny, and some of them aren’t.)


He had to go out today, and he thought it would be a good idea to get me some paws for walking in the snow, and so he did. He claims “this was the only color they had”. I don’t think I’ve ever been so embarrassed in my life. Fortunately no one was around to see me look like this.


He had to fix the one on my right rear paw, because it kind of points outward “more than it should”. Like there’s a rule about how paws are supposed to point.

I’ll admit they did keep the ice out of my paws.

Anyway, it was cold, as you can see. The cottonwood out in the field is full of birds.



That’s pretty much it for today. Not too much gardening, of course. In fact, none at all.

Until next time, then.


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24 Responses to a cold, cold day

  1. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    The photo of your snow paws made my day! Thank you so much.

  2. Marcia Blum says:

    Oh, yes, the doggie paws. Maggie has some and walks like a clown when we put them on. We got them for back country skiing because once all 4 of her ankles were lacerated by a tumble with her daddy and his skis after she went bonkers on prey drive and attacked the ski boots that were flouncing up the snow (She is, after all, a purebred German Shepherd Dog of the working variety and thinks she should hunt). What an adventure! the doggie E.R. and everything involved with that. Anyway, we also have Doggles – but Maggie doesn’t have to wear them. They were for Delilah, her predecessor, who had eye problems and the reflection from the snow aggravated it. Chess, they also looked a little embarrassed wearing this very important doggie gear.

    • paridevita says:

      If the guy I live with knew how to knit, which needless to say he doesn’t, he says he would knit me a bunch of socks that would go over my shoulders like the socks I got at the Bad Place when I had a “hot spot” on my leg. You know, I kept licking it, but they couldn’t see anything wrong. So I got some antibiotics and this ludicrous sock to wear and I looked like a total idiot. In fact, I don’t know why he thinks that me looking like an idiot is a good thing, unless it’s just to make him look better.
      I bet what he might do is get one of the socks and sew (he knows how to do that) the paw end closed, and see how that works. I’m kind of against all of this.
      My grandpa Flurry liked to attack the vacuum cleaner. He once grabbed the bag of the hand-held one and pulled it all the way off while my mommy was vacuuming. There are just things that need to be attacked, you know.

  3. Oh, Chess, Whistler would like you, purebred border collie in a snowfield. He should have painted a border collie, not his mother. Of course, you weren’t around back in Whistler’s day.
    You must think of those booties as rendering you *tres chic*. Any dog such as yourself with an affinity for the more sophisticated cheeses can bring off those booties. Bad job they aren’t snow shovel blue, though. Perhaps you can persuade him to dye them.
    Your view of the mountains is gorgeous, Chess, even wrongly placed as they are. Perhaps your guy does not need to further refine his photography skills. However, the Winter Mind has to contemplate something. Is he going to go so far as to read an instruction booklet?

    • paridevita says:

      I’m not so sure that being chic is what I want. They might look nicer if they were the same color as the snow shovel, though I think I can’t see blue. I forget now.
      The mountains you see there are Mt. Lindo, about 7800 ft (2377m) high on the left, and Mt. Falcon (same height) in center.

      Instruction booklet. He says he has one. And has been looking at something called an “online tutorial”. But this is for the DSLR, which he finds somewhat mysterious. The pictures here were taken with the PowerShot. He says that also has an instruction manual.

  4. Tracey says:

    He should get you red and green ones for Christmas. You do look very cute.

    • paridevita says:

      I understand that I was born cute. The guy I live with did dress me in a red bandana last December, just to be seasonal.
      We’re having record cold temperatures, which the guy I live with is against, and it is pretty hard to get around without my paws getting filled with ice, so I guess the booties are okay.

  5. Oh, Chess in pink booties made my evening so much more delightful.

    • paridevita says:

      It didn’t make mine so delightful, until I came home and the things came off. It turns out that I couldn’t see what color they were after all. Dogs have blue-yellow vision, not red. They looked gray to me, like they would to a person with red-green color blindness.

  6. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    A border collie, of the purebred variety, is truly a thing of beauty in the snow. And now booties, too, for a pop (as they say) of unexpected color. The guy you live with clearly takes very good care of you. Could it be that he loves you?

  7. melanie says:

    Oh, Chess! Pink booties and a very embarrassed look. A wonderful morning laugh. Toby was very embarrassed when the guy we live with put one of those doggie hiking backpacks on him. Tell the guy you live with that it was -17f at my house this morning. brrr.

    • paridevita says:

      Dogs do not generally enjoy being laughed at. My grandpa Flurry especially didn’t like it, and occasionally tried to nip the person laughing at him. …

  8. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    I wonder if anyone makes doggie boots that look like LLBean gum boots. How cool would that be?

  9. Kim Bone says:

    My mommy wrote in my baby book, “Kim loves everything pink, pink, pink.” My mommy died as well, when I was only 4 years old she fell off a horse in Left Hand Canyon, it was 1967. My daddy always said, “time heals all wounds” he used to also say, “don’t talk politics or religion.” Personally I don’t think he was right about any of these things…
    Pues, I LOVE PINK!
    Kim the Gardener

  10. petabunn says:

    Oh Chess you do look embarassed in your pink paws but they do serve a purpose. I was wondering why he didn’t buy white, to blend into the snow, or even black ones. Maybe they were the only ones left because no one wanted pink. Picture this Chess, my aunty just returned from a trip to the USA and brought back an elf suit for me to wear, I have avoided it so far but I’m sure it’s going to happen when we get closer to Christmas and I’m scared silly. So I guess pink paws are too bad after all. Love the shots of you in the garden near the sand/snow pile obviously enjoying the snow, do you ever roll around in it. Great photos again. Enjoy the snow while it’s there Chess.

    • paridevita says:

      An elf suit ….. I hope the guy I live with doesn’t get any ideas.
      I used to roll around in the snow, when my buddy Slipper was here. He’d throw me down on the ground and twirl me around. He was much bigger. It was really fun. We played in the snow a lot. I really miss him, partly because he never wanted to sleep in the bed. He slept at the foot of the bed like he was guarding it.
      The guy I live with got an email about purebred border collies from working stock the other day, but we talked about it and he decided against getting a puppy now that I’m getting older. And there’s no room in the bed, unless the guy I live with sleeps on the floor. I guess that could work.
      There was, as they say here, a “run” on booties at the pet store, and so pink was all they had in medium. Medium are too big for me, really. I’m much smaller than all the other purebred border collies who’ve lived here. I just heard the guy I live with say “Yes, but you weigh more”, which isn’t very nice, and not really my fault.

  11. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    I came back to this blog to see what brand of boots the guy you live with wore because I really need some snow boots. My muck boots are too short for the 3-4″ of snow we got. I know the boots are mentioned in the previous entry, but I’m glad I read through all these because I learned so much — I knew dogs didn’t see the same color ranges as humans, but I didn’t know what range they do see; LL Bean (a favorite of mine) has wonderful but expensive doggie boots — and with 3 dogs, it would be way expensive, but I’m still thinking, “Hmmm. Maybe.” But it’s either them or me in terms of boot buying.

    Our Sammy (whose AKC registered name is Samurai Summersong) doesn’t conform to standard poodle standards — his snout is too short and too broad, and he weighs about 20 lbs. more than Buddy. Buddy looks like the underweight outline on the chart in the Bad Place, while Sammy looks like the overweight outline. If I hadn’t met Sammy’s parents at the breeders’, I’d swear he was part black lab. But I just tell him I love him more because there’s more of him. Plus, he’s a Cancer, like me, and we tend to be chubby — it’s the natural order of things. Long way of saying you’re the most perfect Chess I’ve ever seen.

    • paridevita says:

      We won’t say which one I look like, but thank you very much. My arthritis in my right front leg has been bothering me today, so we didn’t go on as long a walk as usual. No booties; the guy I live with, also a Cancer by the way, just de-iced my paws.
      (I have a “funny right hind leg” and arthritis in my right front leg.)
      He has some “gum boots” but they haven’t held up as well as the Sorels, which he says are the Ultimate. Sorel Caribous.

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