One of our favorite winter weekend activities (my ONLY tolerated winter activity) is to pack the pups up and head to Kouchibouguac National Park, just an hour north east of Moncton. We love it in winter for a few reasons, the park doesn't charge the typical admission fees (one guess on who loves that), there are fabulous trails for snowshoeing, and we usually have the park to ourselves which means we can completely disregard the leash rules. Through the week the pups suffer along on leashed walks, but at least once a week we have to let them explode and run hysterically, otherwise Mars is bound to explode inside. Hence the importance of places we can let them run.
Sunday we were woken at 6:30 (which believe it or not is a long lie in Marley's world) and decided to get a jump start on the day and head straight up to Kouchibouguac thinking there wouldn't be another soul there.
Fail. Just as we let the dogs out of the car, and just as it was particularly evident we had no control over them whatsoever, the friendly park ranger pulled up to remind us the dogs had to be leashed.
Deep. Frustrated. Sighs.
Further, it was especially important to leash the dogs because there was a moose dying along the road a bit along the way and it would be preferable that the dogs didn't terrorize the poor thing. Apparently the moose was being monitored by the park staff, but had not made any signs of recovery.
Obviously NO ONE was happy about the leash situation, this was to M&M the ultimate betrayal, to have to be leashed at their favorite park. Its also especially tricky to snow shoe comfortably when you're just trying to keep up with a sprinting dog.
We did indeed come upon the dying moose*. PB's desire to take multitude pictures of this poor thing as it stared back at us in obvious pain and discomfort triggered a heated discussion over the inappropriateness of exploiting this animal for the sake of a stupid facebook photo, and just as PB was about to tell me exactly what he thought of that, Marley decided to break the tension by losing his shit and barking at this poor beast, and we decided it best to move on.
After we were a good safe distance away from the moose (and away from the prying eyes of the friendly forest rangers) we decided to bushwhack our own trail through the woods so that we were able to let the dogs run. Sadly for Mar, the snow was too deep for him to run anywhere but directly behind our snowshoe tracks.
Weather was beautiful, and aside from an unfortunate start to our walk (and the downer of seeing such a beautiful animal in so much pain and being able to do nothing), we had a great few hours in the park. An almost perfect way to start a Sunday.
*I have unilaterally vetoed any pictures of the moose appearing on this blog. I'm sure I'll hear about it.