Laughter, the Best Medicine

Just when it looked like winter was going to be over, we got some more snow yesterday. The roads were too much of a mess to go out for a run yesterday, so I planned to go today. Until I woke up to a -10F windchill.

So I let go of the idea of one final week’s worth of skijoring before spring and bundled up to go to a yoga class. But as I trudged out to the car I realized… now that the sun is out and the wind has died down, it doesn’t really feel THAT cold out here. Probably still too cold for Maisy with her princess paws and shorty coat, but probably ok for Squash the abominable snowman and his surprisingly thick coat and his little extra padding.

It’s just a few days before the official start of spring, that time of year when ski trail maintenance gets a little lax. I actually don’t mind; we use multi-use trails that get just a bit rolled down to make a level-ish surface but don’t have actual groomed ski tracks anyway (which I don’t even like when I’m skijoring). But it is a lot more work to ski through even a few inches of ungroomed snow and I also decided to ski our whole long 2-dog route today because Squash and I have both had cabin fever lately. So by the end we were both pretty tired and lagging badly.

That’s the point where this video begins. I had stopped for a rest; naturally Squash recovered before me and when he decided he was done resting he came back to say HI HI HI. Which made me laugh. For many reasons I’m not going to belabor, I’m convinced he sort of – on a dog-brain level of understanding – recognizes what laughter is. And my laughter put a bit of spring in his step. Which made me laugh some more. Which put a bit more spring in MY step. And we ended up finishing really strong.

Sometimes I wish my dogs, especially Squash, would be more serious when we’re mushing. But really, I hope he never stops being a little silly. I hope he never stops making me laugh. Partly because it’s fun. And partly because if he does, next time I’m this tired I might end up face down in the snow, exhausted, instead of laughing all the way home.

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