The End Is Nigh

The end of winter at least seems to be nigh, but since one can never know what March will bring, it’s best not to cheer too loudly yet. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind real winter for another couple of weeks, it’s the yoyo I hate. Pick one, Winter. You can’t have it both ways.) The one noticeable difference now is the light – it is no longer dark outside when I leave work (had a bit of a shock Friday). Yay!

But today we will take a short look back at the Winter That Was, because it is, after all, Ronja’s favourite season.

Drive-by photo because she will not sit still if there’s snow to be et.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Well, usually…

If you recall, Husband built a skating rink (Wayne Gretzky did not come, so screw you, W.P. Kinsella). It got a good couple of weeks of heavy use from our and all the neighbours’ kids. And that first day, on perfect ice? Looked like this:

Sunlight for Giliell, obviously.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Let’s take another look at the romance of skating:

Yes, he’s wearing my skates. Dang weeds.
©rq, all rights reserved.

But this story was about Ronja, right? She is a fun, friendly dog who loves sports. Unfortunately, what this means, is being (unfairly! cruelly! diabolically!) locked up while the kids get to play some actual hockey (or football in the summer). Her face looks like this:

I’m sorry, Ronja. Piedod.
©rq, all rights reserved.

She hogs the puck, what can I say. But never fear, she gets her exercise! She spends a half hour doing this:

She doesn’t need wings, that one. Just a lower fence.
©rq, all rights reserved.

And at the end, she gets a lot of love and pile-ons and chasing things that are not hockey pucks once the game is over.

Well, to Ronja’s great joy, we have now had about two weeks of plus weather, and the skating rink resembles… a giant puddle right now. One last look at the before:

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And a peek at the now (the future is not worth looking into):

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Husband has already said he will not be putting in any efforts into salvaging anything. The water bill will be quite high as is. We had some good times this year, thank you, skating rink. Ronja sure is glad you’re soon to be gone.

Will peeing on it make it go away faster?
©rq, all rights reserved.

To close off, here’s an ultra-classic 80s Latvian rock song called ‘The Skating Rink’. If nothing else, it will pick your mood right up.


  1. says

    Ronja is lovely. Give her some scritches from me (and thanks for the sunlight!)
    Something like your skating rink would be impossible here.
    But yes, the birds are acting like it’s spring already

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Different colours of light.

    She has an expressive face and she looks like some kind of a spitz (the curved tail and the ears plus her general body shape).

    Giliell @ 1

    Why? Geography of your property, regulations or weather/climate?

  3. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    We have no idea what she is, as she is a rescue puppy. We’ve discussed things like laika, newfoundlander, labrador, border collie, german shepherd, husky. As she doesn’t have much herding instinct (the australian shepherd we had growing up did!), we’ve eliminated most herding dog influence. I suppose it will always be a mystery. But the conclusion is that she does have one of the most expressive dog faces around. Her brown pleading eyes are nearly irresistible; there’s no vaccine for that!

  4. says

    Ice Swimmer
    It rarely stays below zero for a few days in a row. With Mr. clearing out the rented addition to the garden, we would even have some even space. I’ll use that for archery come spring.

  5. lumipuna says

    Finnish municipalities routinely build seasonal outdoor ice rinks on football fields and such -- though here in the coastal south, the winter is only barely cold enough to regularly support those for a couple months a year.

    This week, we had over 50 cm of snow -- about twice the seasonal average. Now, it’s spectacularly soggy, after some mild rainy days, and soon to be freezing with some more snowfall. Then, it’s going to be back to unseasonally warm by next weekend.

  6. springa73 says

    Awww, Ronja is so cute! The skating rink in your yard looks fun.

    We’re supposed to get about a foot (roughly 30 cm) of snow Tuesday, but then it’s supposed to go above freezing and rain by Friday.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 3

    AFAIK, spitzes that are bred for hunting are very fond of barking as it is the way they work (alerting the hunter that they have found the prey and to keep the bird, moose or bear in one place (tree in the case of birds)). Is Ronja a vocal dog?

  8. Jazzlet says

    Ronja is beautiful, her brown eyes remind me of our Jake (German Shepherd) as does her fur, but I think shes a different build, it’s difficult to be sure with all the fur (also a problem with Jake!), but I think she’s more gracile, where as Jake is more solid, with a chunkier body, thicker legs, larger paws. Even Thorn who is at the most gracile end of the German Shepherd range would be chunkier.

    Herding is not always a ‘shepherd’ trait as there are two distinct kinds of sheep dog, the herders like border collies and the guarders like maremas; the guarders would actually help guard the flock from wolves, some breeds like maremas being capable of doing that on their own. The guarding breeds tend to be larger and more solidly muscled so that they are capable of going up against wolves -- not on their own as mmore than one would be left to guard a flock. You do get cross overs too, some German Shepherds will herd although they are primarily guarders.

  9. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    I looked up spitzes (turns out there’s a whole list of breeds!) and, thanks to you, I think I found Ronja. Down to behaviour characteristics -- yes, she is a very vocal dog!

    What you say makes a lot of sense -- she’s definitely a warning/guard dog, so she would fit that category of herding dogs. Also Ronja is much thinner in summer, but she’s not a fine-boned dog at all.

    Hey, I think thanks to y’all, I’ve solved the mystery that is Ronja!

  10. voyager says

    Ronja has a beautiful face and her eyes are so expressive. I could not say no to her. She could have every cookie in my pocket. (right side, just at nose height) She looks like she’s cheering for her team to win. Actually, she looks like she just has a big personality.

    This winter you couldn’t have had a skating rink in my part of Canada. Not enough consecutive days below zero. This week the temps are going to climb again and by Friday it’s suppose to be +5.

  11. amts says


    Thank you so much. I followed your link to the Swedish Lapphund page and you may have just answered a longstanding question for me as well. I had a guy named Bear and never knew just what he was — this breed was him to a tee.

    Long time lurker but I just had to come out of hiding and thank you for that info.

  12. rq says

    We may have uncovered the tracks of the Society of Secret Swedish Lapphunds… Is there a Finnish chapter, too?
    More honestly, I’d never heard of the breed before, and I have a reasonable acquaintance with dogs. The more you live!

  13. Jazzlet says

    That’s a new breed on me too, but I know there are hundreds of breeds out there, and that which breeds are seen other than in their country of origin is very much down to chance.

  14. Nightjar says

    Ronja is adorable!

    That face reminds me of my aunt’s dog, he was a spitz too (German Spitz, I think) and we were very close. I grew up with him and if you saw us together you wouldn’t say he wasn’t my dog. He died many years ago, but I still miss him so much.

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