It was an overcast morning in Toronto’s Riverdale neighbourhood, and the ground was still wet from the drizzle of Halloween night. Skuggi, our nine-month-old Icelandic Sheepdog, and I set off for our big walk of the day, a four to five-kilometer ramble punctuated with visits to three off-leash dog areas. It takes us about an hour and a half, though the actual walking time is about an hour.
First up was Withrow Dog Park, just around the corner from our house. Skuggi usually has a good time playing with the other dogs there.
Along the way, we took in the decorative – and often pretty tacky – Halloween props from the night before. Soon they’ll be gone, and so will the leaves.
In a week or so, we slip into that six-month period where Toronto takes on a dreary grey look, only brightened up by the occasional snowfall. On our walk, it was clear that we were already past prime vibrant fall colour. A day with strong winds and the remaining leaves will fall to the ground too.
Broadview Avenue has one of the finest panoramic views of downtown. We lingered for a few minutes while Skuggi snacked on some of his breakfast kibble. Then it was time to head to the off-leash area behind the ice skating rink and swimming pool complex at the corner of Broadview and Hogarth.
We met up with Stanley and Martha, a new addition to the neighbourhood’s dog community. That is young Martha with Skuggi in the pic below, with Sal(ami) tucked behind.
As I knelt down to get a better angle for the shot below, I lost sight of where Skuggi was. While Martha’s head was back in the hole she was happily digging, it soon registered that Skuggi was also in the image, gathering essential information!
Skuggi and I headed down to the path that runs north to south to the footbridge across the Don Valley.
On this day, it was very quiet on the other side of the valley in the large off-leash area. Before heading home, we walked along the fence to the southern end to use the water fountain.
Back to our street and more leaves on display. If there is one thing that makes the late fall and winter more bearable, it is, oddly enough, the occasional snowstorm that blankets the neighbourhood in ten centimeters (or more!) of snow. Close by are two of the best tobogganing hills in the city – and spitzes like Skuggi love jumping around in the snow!
Later that morning, Skuggi was out in the backyard. He was on the lookout for out-of-control squirrels. They were taunting him from the safety of the tree branches he is staring up at! Note his “I’ll get back to you in a minute” when I call him back!
For more pix of leaves and Icelandic Sheepdogs, check out this post –