Through snow, and… well, through snow anyway.

So I’m in a weird limbo right now because we got a little bit of snow. It’s not enough to ski, but it’s too much to scooter… or is it?

As an aside, in retrospect I honestly cannot fully remember whatever possessed me to get the scooter. Sure, I’d been technically canicrossing (albeit at a slow pace I like to call a wog – walking jog) with the dogs for a while and wanted to get them really pulling so I needed something with wheels. But I mean, I already had a bike. I could easily have bikejored all summer.  I think it might have been that I was more afraid of getting pulled on the bike than a scooter, because the scooter is shorter and in theory my legs are not very likely to get tangled up in it on the way down if I fall (which I have discovered the hard way to be true, but that’s a different story for another day).

Anyway, I did get the scooter, obviously.  And as much as I adore it I admit that I sometimes feel like I trivialize the scooter or don’t give it the respect it deserves. It’s just that the word “scooter” so easily conjures to my mind an image of packs of small children careening down the sidewalk on skinny razor scooters that look flimsy and wobbly to me. Then I tell people I went scootering with the dogs this morning and by the looks on their faces it seems to conjure the same images in their minds and… well… I feel a bit silly.

But in reality, my scooter is no slouch. This isn’t the type of thing I ever thought I’d hear myself talking about, but it’s got 16 inch, mountain bike-style off-road capable wheels. What’s a mere inch of snow in the face of such specifications, really? Is it fair to any of us to leave it languishing on the back porch when it should be able to carry us easily through such a puny obstacle? No, I say. No, it is not. I mean, look at this baby!

So we went scootering this morning in the snow, despite the fact that choosing to do so meant leaving my warm, cozy couch for the opportunity to freeze my lips off and possibly fall on my head into the snow. I know there are probably some people reading this thinking “I understand completely and would do the same” while other people reading this are thinking “what is this I don’t even…”  It’s addictive, you see. But it’s the kind of addiction that gets your ass off the couch and into the fresh air with your dogs. There’s a paradoxically serene exhilaration to speeding through the quiet woods behind your dogs, so it’s not all lip-freezing and head-falling… there’s also the silently praying that they don’t notice those deer over there.

Anyway, the scooter was up to the task and we had a blast. Despite taking a familiar trail the dogs were very distracted by the snow at first and I ended up walking the scooter behind them for maybe the first quarter of the run. Once they got into it, though, they did great. I only took them about a third of our normal distance because I was concerned about the trail conditions elsewhere on our normal route, but I’m glad it worked out that way because they were really worn out afterwards as if we’d gone on a normal run. Even that small amount of snow was like going through deep sand, so it was clearly more work for them and they had to work harder to pull the scooter for sure. And I had to work harder to steer and stay up.

There are their adorable little hineys. That’s Maisy on the right. Believe it or not, she’s my powerhouse despite being about as not-husky as she can be. Someday I’ll tell the story of how she got mixed up in all this crazy business but for now all you need to know is that she’s amazing.

And finally, here is a wee video that you can watch if you like to see dog butts and hear droning narratives. I’m mostly adding this because I’m very proud of the start. They don’t always line out and stay put that nicely, but we’ve been working hard on it and it’s nice to see results.

And a final safety  note… for any pictures or videos that you see that are taken from the scooter, I am using my camera mounted on a GorillaPod that’s on my waist. Even I’m not crazy enough to let go of the handlebars to take pictures.

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