Tina’s Tale

Mom and I followed the trail that Dave and Amy packed through the deep snow on a portage.

Mom and I followed the trail that Dave and Amy packed through the deep snow on a portage.

Hi. I’m Tina. Don’t tell anyone, but I found Dave and Amy’s laptop. I’m pretty sure they think I don’t know how to type. Ha ha! I can type with my paws and I have taken over their weekly Notes from the Trail. I’m going to tell you about a day in my life.

First of all, I sleep on top of a blanket and I wear a little jacket. I like my jacket! Dave and Amy say it is the color red. Dogs are color blind, so I’m not sure what red means. I just know it is comfy.

In the morning, I am hungry. I usually wake up when I hear Dave and Amy doing chores like gathering water and cooking food. I want to make sure they know I’m ready to eat. First I whine. Then, when I’m really excited, I bark. I’m basically saying, “Hey! I’m ready for breakfast!” My mom, Acorn, doesn’t get nearly excited as I do. Come to think of it, neither does Tank. Well, someone has to remind the people that it is time for breakfast!

When Amy comes out with our pot of dog food, I am so excited. I dance around and spin in circles. It is agonizing, watching her dish up our food. As she ladles the food into the bowls, I bark to tell her that I really want her to feed us now! When she finally sets my bowl in front of me, I eat my food as fast as I can. I always finish before Acorn or Tank. I lick my bowl clean.

After breakfast, the other dogs and I rest some more. We might even nap a little. This is usually when Dave and Amy pack up the toboggans. They take down the big thing they sleep in; I think it is called a tent. That gets packed in the toboggans too. Once they are all ready, Dave and Amy put our harnesses on. I like getting dressed in my harness. Then one of them walks my mom and me up to the front of the toboggans. A toboggan is basically a sled. They are different from dogsleds, though. A person rides on a dogsled. There is no place for someone to ride on the toboggans. The toboggans are lined up, one in front of the other. When we are on the move, we look like a little train, with my mom and me up front, followed by Tank, then a toboggan, the other toboggan, and finally Amy or Dave on skis.

When Amy starts packing the toboggans we know it is almost time to go.

When Amy starts packing the toboggans we know it is almost time to go.

I learned yesterday what skis are. I was wondering what to call the big long boards that are sometimes attached to Dave and Amy’s feet. When we are on the trail, they move around with skis on their feet and poles in their hands.

I get really excited just before we start running. I bark and bark. The other dogs join me in barking until it is time to go. No matter how loud we are barking, we can always tell when the people tell us to start. The magic words are “let’s go.” When someone says “let’s go”, I lunge or jump in my harness to start the toboggans moving. My mom and I head down the trail. When there is a trail, we know where to go and we move fast. Sometimes there isn’t a trail. Then we listen for Amy or Dave to tell us what direction to go in. When they say “gee”, we go to the right. When they say “haw”, we go to the left.

It is tougher to pull the toboggans when there is no trail. Sometimes they get stuck. Sometimes Acorn and I don’t quite know where to go. When this happens, we stop and turn our heads to look at Dave and Amy. They might talk us through it and tell us which way to turn. Sometimes I say to my mom, let’s go back to visit the people. She usually doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but I pull her along and we end up next to the toboggans, facing backward. It takes us a while to get straightened out again, facing forwards. If the snow is too deep, then one off them skis in front of us to make a trail. This is amazing. Those things attached to their feet, those skis are like instant trail-makers. The skis press down the snow and leave two lines in the snow behind Dave or Amy. I sure do like following in their tracks.

It is fun to run across the frozen lakes.

It is fun to run across the frozen lakes.

We run across frozen lakes and on trails through the woods, called portages. A couple of days ago, we were running across a big lake when we saw a small animal running ahead of us. The animal ran to our right and we turned to follow. Dave and Amy got us going in the right direction again. Then the animal ran back towards us and turned to run down the lake. We picked up our speed. I really wanted to catch that animal! It had a funny way of running. The animal would run for a few steps and then slide on its belly. I don’t know any dogs who do that. Dave told me later that the animal is called an otter. We didn’t get very close to the otter. It eventually ran off to the other shore of the lake. It was so exciting!

As the sun gets lower in the sky, Dave and Amy pick a place to camp for the night. They figure out where us dogs will stay first. They have a long cable that they attach to the ice with ice screws. Then, one by one, we go to our spots with Dave or Amy. They pet us and take our harnesses off. They tell us we’re good dogs too. It is my favorite part of the day. Well, actually, my favorite part is eating. This is my second favorite part of the day. If I get the chance, I jump up and put my front two paws on Amy or Dave. I like standing like them and then they give me even more pets.

Dave and Amy go inside this think when it is time to sleep. We can hear them talking in there. Sometimes they say my name.

Dave and Amy go inside this think when it is time to sleep. We can hear them talking in there. Sometimes they say my name.

Next, they get our food ready. I don’t know why it takes so long! They put a frozen piece of chicken in a pot with dog kibble and add water from the lake. They put it on this metal thing that makes a noise like an engine. Acorn told me it is a stove. I guess it thaws the chicken and makes the food warm. This is usually when I bark the most. Finally, we get to eat. With a full belly, I curl up on my blanket and go to sleep.

Cast YOUR Vote!

Last week you voted to decide which dog should write this week’s Notes from the Trail. You helped decide that Tina should be this week’s guest blogger. We hope you enjoy her Notes from the Trail. Did you like learning about our adventures from Tina’s perspective? Should we continue to have Tina, or one of the other dogs write our weekly Notes from the Trail?

Please vote and help us decide if the Notes from the Trail should be written by a team member with 2 legs or 4 legs!


Student Response Worksheets

“Packet”¬†contains the “Notes,” the Lower and Upper Worksheets and the Answer Documents all in one PDF.




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