Dear Curiosity Journal,

The clinquant snow and sunshine beckoned and I took my chance to ski a loop around the farm before the florid daylight faded. For better or worse, my lumbering livestock guardian dog accompanied me. Due to my own mistakes in training Balio, he’s convinced that I’m the livestock he needs to tend. Certainly, he guards the chickens and barks up the gardens and sheep pen at night, but I appear to be his day job. If I’m inside, he lays across the farmhouse threshold, lightly slumbering, but acting as a gatekeeper nonetheless. When I’m outside, he’s with me and especially enjoys our skiing adventures. However, he has zero couth when it comes to trail etiquette. Like many animals, he prefers the path of least resistance, which is usually the ski trail. I’ve given up on the idea of a neat set of tracks. Also, the fluffy feet of the Great Pyrenees start to build up little snowballs, so Balio periodically plops down to take care of that, naturally obstructing my way. I’m learning to navigate all of these eccentricities because the journey is truly more enjoyable with a companion. It’s curious how witnessing the joy of an animal, even if he gives you a little trouble, has the power to elevate our frame of mind.