Today is Hooper's birthday, making Hooper one year old! In truth, we brought him home at six months of age, and he was picked up as a stray in Utah sometime before that, so unfortunately we really don't know the exact circumstances or conditions of his conception, birth and early development. The vet guessed he was six months old, based on his teeth, when we took him in or his first checkup in early August. So we counted back from there and picked Groundhog Day as his "birthday". In truth we'll never know, and we don't care. Just as we'll never really know his genetic makeup. He's Hooper the Dog, he's ours, he's one today, and we love him. So we took him out for a hike.

Up past Jamestown there's a trail that meanders through the tall trees and it seemed as good as any for a winter hike. Hooper seems to love the hiking, the snow, the altitude, the adventure, as much as all of us. Once out of the car, he starts whimpering if we don't get on with the business of plodding through the snow in a timely fashion. He's generally uninterested in drinking water because that would involve stopping. Instead, he snags chunks of snow and ice on the fly, and keeps on marching.

Today's hike led to a vague trail hidden by snow, and Brenda eventually became more interested in scaling a boulder for the view at the top than continuing to the summit. Hooper & I ventured onward, but he kept looking back at Brenda and I lost all sight of anything recognizable as a trail, so we headed back to join her. We snapped a few pics, headed back to town and picked up new treats and toys for the birthday boy. He's cached out on his bed now, amidst the debris of yet another destroyed stuffed toy. Life is good.