A Backyard Winter Run With My Corgi Maisy Breaking Trail

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Paula Tracy photo

A true snow-loving Corgi, Maisy enjoys keeping up with Paula Tracy while cross country skiing in their back yard.

Paula Tracy’s column about the love and business of skiing.


CENTER HARBOR – It is true that you can have too much snow.

That is if you are a Corgi and you want to keep up with everyone else who is cross country skiing in the back yard or across the street on the lake.

You need a snorkel if it gets up to eight inches or so of new snowfall.

Fortunately, with close to a half-foot of new, dry, powdery snow here in Center Harbor on the Martin Luther King Day long weekend, there is not too much snow, but close.

This weekend has been perfect for everyone who likes to enjoy the snow.
This includes Maisy, our five-year-old Corgi who prefers to roll in it (making her own sort of Corgi snow angels) getting her face in it.

She just loves new snow and is not afraid to break trail by leaping through it.

Paula’s Corgi Maisy loves to come along. Paula Tracy video

When we take her into the woods, she reminds us all that this is not just stuff to be shoveled or to fret over while driving but to be enjoyed. It’s pure fun from the heavens.

With the slopes and woods trails packed with vacationers here for the long weekend and our season passes on black-out in this house, it’s a good day to take a winter run with the dog.

We can sleep in, eat pancakes and hit the trails we create on our own schedule.

The yard was quiet, cold and sunny Monday at 10 a.m., but no wind as we stepped out on the trail we cut in our woods. It follows a brook and then goes uphill to a nice little view and a bench to rest on. Then it is downhill to home.

Tom Cowie, Paula’s husband, enjoys the new snow on Lake Winona. Paula Tracy photo

It’s a hardwood forest that was once likely a pasture along a brook. Bits of barbed wire embedded in some trees can still be found, and there are stone walls to remind us how the landscape was once used and how the brook has changed over time.

  A woodpecker was hammering away at a dead tree. There were tracks, likely a squirrel leaping through the powder. The only other sound is the gurgle of open water flowing over rocks.

This trail is always beautiful, but particularly after newly fallen snow.

Maisy loves it because here she does not need a leash. She likes to chase sticks thrown to her but is no retriever. In the winter the sticks are hard to find but she seems to find it more exciting when she does find sticks buried in snow.

Maisy tries to carry them. But she is so low to the ground and the snow so high that they get caught up easily. So she often settles in for a break with a good stick and chews it into little pieces.

Rather than follow the trail all the time, Maisy likes to go off-piste and leap through the soft snow.

For a change of pace, we sometimes go visit our neighbor’s yard along the shores of Lake Winona. After about an hour of breaking trail and keeping her head above the snow, Maisy begins to show some signs of being a bit tired, but she is not at all cold.

Paula’s husband, Tom Cowie, and Maisy enjoy Lake Winona. Paula Tracy video

There are many things I love about living in New Hampshire, but one of my favorite adventures is taking a winter run skiing right from my barn door to forest, field, hillside and on to railroad tracks.

And I can do it all with my dog, Maisy, the most enthusiastic snow-lover of all.

InDepthNH.org’s Paula Tracy learned to ski at Pats Peak in Henniker in 1972 and has been looking for ways to fit it into her work life ever since. Her first ski column First Tracks was for the Salem (Mass.) Evening News. She then wrote one for the New Hampshire Union Leader and later for WMUR. Paula now writes A Winter Run for InDepthNH.org when she is not busy on her State House reporting.

InDepthNH.org is New Hampshire’s online nonprofit news outlet. More information by emailing nancywestnews@gmail.com

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