Sunday, March 27, 2011

One Year

One year ago this weekend we brought Zane home from the local shelter. He had a non-contagious mange and we were to foster him for a week and also consider during that time whether we'd keep him forever. He settled in to our home, Aria our German Shepherd seemed to like him, and before the week was over we decided to adopt Kodi - the new name that we chose for him.

He was devilish in the early days, after all he was only one and had spent much of his first year in shelters. While fostering him the first week he was quiet and calm in the house. Not two days after his adoption he started marking in the house and was biting and pouncing on me. I wondered whether we'd made the right decision.

 Kodi, a swirling bundle of energy, one year ago

 Kodi, at one year, looking like a devil

It took time, as it does with all dogs, but he calmed down a bit and stopped marking. Our journey together over the past year has taken us to the top of many 4,000-foot mountains, to the beach on clear, winter days, and on many trails and woods in between. Kodi is terrific, even though he got kicked out of doggie day care last fall. He just loves to play and is more exuberant than most other dogs. His herding genes kick in when he sees other dogs, so his initial response is to run toward a dog, sweep around like he's gathering a flock of sheep, and then move in for a nip on the rump if the other dog does not respond. After the initial surprise, most dogs are happy to play with Kodi.

Kodi in December, looking a  lot calmer

This weekend we celebrated his second birthday and his one year anniversary with us. Saturday morning we went to the beach on the outgoing tide. He met several dogs, including a 6-year old basset hound that was having a birthday party on the beach later that day. 

In the afternoon we walked a portion of the Sweet Trail between Newmarket and Durham and returned again this afternoon. The 4-mile trail meanders through a unique area of rocky outcrops, wetlands, and upland forests of oak and hickory and hemlock and pine. March has been cold -- this weekend was no exception -- so the wetlands and woodland (vernal) pools are still mostly frozen; only the edges are beginning to melt. Wood frogs and salamanders have yet to make their way to their breeding pools. The great blue heron nests in the beaver wetlands are still silent.

March is the month for waterfowl (ducks and geese) migration. In the small patches of open water we saw pairs of mallards, Canada geese, and black ducks. Some of these pairs will stay here and nest in these wetlands, others will continue north to breed. A small flock of ring-necked ducks floated in the open water around a beaver lodge. Six wood ducks lifted off from another wetland, the females emitting a loud, distinct squeal, wee-e-e-e-k, as they flew off through the trees. No other duck has such a call.

Happy Birthday Kodi. We're so glad we found you in the shelter one year ago.

Kodi on the Sweet Trail today - his approximate birthday

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