Buck, the sledding collie

Submitted by Deborah Franks

Buck_March coverOn the heels of a mega snow storm on the east coast, I thought back to some snow days we have had with our dogs. Our fur family is mostly collie/collie mixes with a hound and an inheritance mixed in.

Our late Austin, a blue merle collie, loved to eat snow. Especially the snow that collected on the bench in the yard. Our hound, Sunny, loves to run through it. Of course, she just loves to run anyway. Even in the warmth of the summer. Hannah, our collie/sheltie mix, will throw herself down into the snow, wiggle around in it, and then push herself into a slide down the short hill in the yard. But our star is our collie/border collie, Buck. Anyone who knows our Buck knows what a character he is. You never know what he will figure out in that amazing brain of his. Some days, I swear he is part human. He is a legend in the rescue we adopted him from.

Shortly after we moved to central New York, we got our first taste of a “lake effect” winter. Snow here, in the winter, can seem continuous at times. The good part is, our snow is great for winter sports. We even got our first taste of snowmobiling as there are trails everywhere here. It was the first time we had ever seen a snowmobile pull up to the gas pumps, fill up, and take off into a field.

Buck sleddingBut I digress. During one of our first snow storms, Rich (my hubby), brought out an old ‘SnowWing’ sled he found in his travels. It was big enough that, as he got ready to head down the hill, he could pile on a dog or two with him. Any of the dogs, that were interested, could take a ride down the hill. For almost an hour, Rich played with the dogs on the hill in our backyard. Buck hitched a ride as often as he could. When he wasn’t on the sled, he was running alongside of it. He never seemed to tire. Buck even figured out how to grab the rope and pull the sled back up the hill. Of course we laughed as we know how smart he is.

Rich finally got tired and decided that he had had enough. He propped the sled up against the fence, near the house, and came inside. As we pulled our snow gear off, I looked up and saw Buck. He wasn’t done yet. Buck wanted to keep sledding. He had managed to pull the sled down off the fence. He aimed it down the hill and had his two left legs on the sled while he used his two right legs to push himself forward, like a skateboard. I quickly called Rich and we watched in amazement as Buck hopped onto the sled, sat down, and headed down the hill. When he reached the bottom, he grabbed the rope in his mouth and headed back up to the top to go again. We let him go one more time on his own. When he returned the second time, Rich took the sled away from him. Buck wasn’t a happy camper but, as it was a weekend, we weren’t up for a trip to the emergency vet if he hurt himself. Rich was going to prop the sled back against the fence but, as Buck had already figured out how to pull it down, I suggested he put the sled outside of the fence. I could see the wheels spinning in Buck’s head as he tried to figure out how he was going to get the sled. He quickly gave up though.

Thankfully.

We all headed inside to sit near the warm woodstove while Rich and I had some hot tea. Another exhausting, yet enjoyable, Buck escapade behind us. Never a dull moment in the life of our Buck.

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