Islewood Farm is magical in the winter, and the pond is home to many different types of ducks all year round. Zippy and his pupil, Kipling, patrol the grounds but remain gentle and social dogs with even temperaments. Still, if I didn’t know Zippy and came across him, I wouldn’t want to make him suspicious. He is a regal, zen-like animal who loves to be chased more than to chase. One of the photos below captures this: the look of pure cartoonish joy on Zippy’s features as Kipling chases him around.
Since there is no snow this Valentine’s Day I went back to an older year where Zippy romped about on this Holiday alone. Zippy’s racing through a Winter snow across the meadow. It’s supposed to get colder here in a week or two, and maybe snow again before Spring returns.
The meadow looks like this now and the trees do have the faintest bud growth. I am not a huge celebratory Valentine’s Day romantic. I love spending a quality day with my mate walking the dogs and listening to the sounds around us as we startle birds, otters, the occasional deer, and once a pesky beaver we named Justin Beaver (click here to see that annoyingly cute photo).
Kipling is now 5 months old. She is almost half Zippy’s size, and will be there in another month. Zippy continues to teach her the ropes, pulling fallen tree limbs out of the canals is a serious job for them, and Zippy is a powerful swimmer and we can’t wait to teach Kipling how to swim this summer.
Around Islewood Farm we have a couple blue herons who always spend most of the colder months with us. We’ve named the first one Lyda Blue Heron, and the second one, Sasha Blue Heron, in honor of my terrific nieces. When we went for a walk yesterday Kipling and Zippy played and roughhoused next to one of the back canals. In Summer, a canopy swing makes this point one of the most peaceful on the farm, and also a top reading spot. Yesterday, while filming a short video of the mutts, Lyda Blue Heron flew by, squawking away. Zippy knows to spot her in the sky as she flies from tree to tree and he then goes on full alert mode, wonders what direction to start running after Lyda Blue Heron. Kipling chases after Zippy and doesn’t quite understand the concept of ‘the heron’, but has a merry time. I am so happy to share this short, short video with you.
This video is better in the smaller size on the blog so that the picture doesn’t stutter, although it does work on Full Screen. Apologies . . . the sound quality is wanting, but if you are able to turn up the volume all the way you will just make out the sound of Lyda Blue Heron’s cry. When Zippy hears it you’ll notice he becomes still, assessing her flight direction. Yes, that is me in blue jeans trying to stay out of dog and video path LOL. The song snippet comes courtesy of the Once More With Feeling Soundtrack to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s musical episode. Tara sings the song Under Your Spell to Willow with a bit of scandalous wordplay.
Next up on a writer’s life blog is a surprise book/film recommendation. This is one instance where both entertainment mediums are perfect. I will fill you in more, and maybe you can guess: This book was published after the death of the author, to great acclaim, becoming the most beloved book of this country — the author never knew the fame and the book was rejected by publishers time and again. The film is considered to be a classic as well, and there are two different versions of this movie on DVD. Please make your guess below in the Comments.
Please subscribe to a writer’s life if you haven’t done so already & Follow me on Twitter @JustinBog. I highly recommend that you also subscribe to the Travel, Leisure, and Entertainment online Magazine In Classic Style.
If you need any help with WordPress or a terrific certified Apple Consultant, I highly recommend: Convenient Integration.
What a wonderful post, Justin and a truly beautiful environment that you live in. It is absolutely stunning! And you are blessed with precious wildlife too, which is a gift.
Thank you so much for sharing your hairy children with us. Kipling is growing fast now and flourishing and I love the way that Zippy minds her, and puts her in her place. The video was super to watch – I wanted to reach out and stroke them. Keep these posts coming – do love your little family:)
What a hoot the afternoon was, walking around catching glimpses of Zippy and Kipling in full-on happy mode. Thank you, Jane, for your lovely words. Kipling is going to be a heartbreaker.
You have a great eye for photography. I loved them all, but #1 of the snowy lake was simply stunning. I will also be subscribing to the magazine as a show of support for you!
So great Amberr and I really appreciate your comments. I look to you as one of the best photographers so your compliment floored me. And I really thank you also for supporting In Classic Style.
Great pictures. Love the one of Zippy in the snow. I can certainly see where he got his name!
Zippy in the snow is my favorite photo of him out of all the tens of thousands. I hope Kipling helps him keep strong as he heads loser to being a senior dog in a couple years. He is a majestic dog. Thank you very much, eden, for stopping by.
Awww, big hugs to Kipling (and you too Justin)
I’ll take all the hugs I can get . . . even if I have to steal some from Kipling.
Too fun! Did I miss it or did you say who was singing in the vid? Very well done and I enjoyed all of it. As Eden said, Zippy is very zippy. I’m already tired. haha.
I added the song to the text but in case you miss that it’s from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s musical episode and the song is called Under Your Spell, sung by Tara to Willow in a moment of sweet couple love. A great television moment. Pretty song. It’s on the Once More With Feeling soundtrack. Now the Z in Zippy stands for Zen. Thank you Rachel very much for stopping by and I hope you get some rest.
I can’t believe how big she’s gotten Justin! She is so beautiful and Zippy is magnificent. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and I just love the one of Zippy’s face… how cute is that?
Your post is beautiful, made me want to hop the next flight and come visit you. Islewood Farm is certainly where I’d spend every waking moment of my day… its gorgeous. xxx
I know, Nicole. She’s a willful, bright, sneaky, feisty wonderbugDog. Kipling makes us all laugh every single day. You are welcome, as I’ve said many times before, and have an open invitation. I’d love to cook with you and laugh. And I thank you for being my friend.
Such beauties! Cute, precious…and I’ll bet absolutely adorable. Wonderful memories 🙂
Dee, I’m happy you liked my little animal Valentine. The memories of today will now be collected here. Thank you.
Wow Justin. So beautiful. The landscape, the dogs. Thank you. Cathy x
Thank you Cathy for taking the time out of your own cool writing life to comment here. Kipling sends you one of her Valentine hearts.
Beautiful Justin. You really show the joy our dogs can bring us. Thanks
That’s one of the best and most open reasons I love to share here. I also love your blog and your travels.
WOW Justin i really love this Post !! Kipling is so big now and Zippy’s pic in the snow is so beautiful !! And i just loved the music background (very good music Justin like always)
Stuliana said: “Mr Just”…i love my Kipling new pic&video!!!! my mummy said that i can look at them every day !!!! And please tell Zippy not to bite my Kipling…because she small and she hurts (:
i send a kiss for my Kipling and you “Mr Just” you are so Good :))
As always, Staury, and Stuliana, I am very happy to share Kipling’s and Zippy’s journey with you and the rest of the world. They are so funny together.
Stuliana: Thank you especially for caring so much about Kipling. Zippy listens to you and wants you to know he would never hurt Kipling. They are buddies (KIpling is the one that plays roughhouse with Zippy — says: he can take it — and then wags her tail). Thank you for the kiss and your continuing kindness.
I’m currently sitting in the puddle that is my heart, because it just melted. German shepherds always make me go all corny and sentimental. Kipling is getting SO big! Wow!
I love watching GSDs play, haha, more like roughhouse! Zippy reminds me so much of my GSD, Dakota; well, you know, except the whole boy and longer hair thing! 🙂
P.S. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous, as always!
Oh no, I’ll send Kipling and Zippy to help you, Kelley . . . thank you for your kindness. Kipling is curled up right next to Zippy as I write to you now, and she’s getting the long coat growth, making her look even bigger than her 40-ish pounds. I can’t believe she’ll be 6 months old in early March. Always wishing you well.
Kipling is coming along nicely. Gorgeous, and Zippy seems almost regal in bearing. You’re a lucky man, Justin. And it is no doubt adding to Zippy’s joy in life to have a playmate to whom he can be a mentor. Keep up the good work.