The sky is blue, and there are grosbeaks singing in the overstory. Shielded from the north wind, Spencer is at play among the trees of the Lanark highlands, and the soft April sun is warm on his dappled fur.
He runs, his dancing feet scattering last autumn's fallen leaves - he is moving as he dreamed of moving all winter along when the snow was too deep for such things, his tail high and his expressive ears flying in the wind. Some days, being a canine is simply divine.
There are bogs and ponds to wade in, holes to dig, interesting artifacts to unearth and fine "stuff" to roll on. There are sticks to toss and chase, familiar forest trails to float along, kicking up his heels and drinking in the intoxicating smells of springtime. There are wonderful sounds to sample and identify: owls calling in the deep woods, partridge drumming beyond the ridge, hawks keening as they hunt overhead in the cloudless sky.
When the day is done, he will smell like the bottom of a bog himself, and his mum will insist on giving him a bath - puzzling because he thinks he smells just grand and can't figure out what all the fuss is about. Whatever is the matter with us?