Just Us Guys

Teresa’s been away for just over a week now and we three guys have got on just fine. We miss her, of course, but there’s something about guy time, something … primal maybe.

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She’s kind of like a mother, you know, caring for us, worrying about us—especially me in my senior years with my various health issues and anxieties. I appreciate it, of course I do, and I’m probably still running around because of it, but sometimes it’s nice to just chill.

For example, Teresa will buy an assortment of canned foods to add to my morning kibble to make it more palatable. Tasty, very nice, yes, but Nollind’s system of tossing in a glob of bacon fat works well too. I clean the bowl every day.

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Teresa is inclined to keep me on a leash during walks to keep me from overdoing it, even though I’m not inclined to run after coyotes much anymore. With Nollind, if I’m sore at the end of the day, he tosses me a bit of medication.

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Nollind goes to town more often than Teresa so trips to the dog park are more frequent, even though all that roughhousing can be a bit taxing on my old body.

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And then there’s that bacon fat on my breakfast.

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The biggest concern when Teresa’s away is … well … Nollind. A few years back when she was up visiting her mom in the fall, he jumped off a boat and badly sprained his ankle, bad enough for an ambulance ride and a cast. Last year, when Teresa was up north visiting her mom in October, he fell off a ladder and broke his arm, badly enough to require a plate and screws and months of rehab.

So, since she’s up visiting her mom again, she asked us to keep an eye on him while she’s away, keep him safe. It’s exhausting.

So far, so good, though, and I saw on his calendar that she’s coming home on Monday. If we can just keep him away from ladders and other dangerous places until then. He was sailing on Wednesday and that went okay. Thank God for light winds!

Well, gotta go. Nollind’s headed outside on a mission of some sort. I’m back on duty.

Was It something I Said?

Was it something I said? Or, more likely, did?

T has gone away again. She packed a suitcase on Tuesday night and left on Wednesday with her sister­. I wouldn’t normally think it was my doing but I’ve been a little distracted lately, by the gophers that seem to everywhere around the farm, and the coyotes that have been coming close. And, when I’m distracted, I don’t always listen very well. Okay. When I’m distracted, I don’t listen at all. It’s like my ears just stop working.06-Chico-Sa-us-1One day recently, during a walk in the hay field, I ran off after a coyote. Apparently, T heard sounds that she thought were me calling for help and she came running. By the time I found my way back to her she dropped to the ground and burst into tears. I’m not sure if she was happy or sad or just out of breath but I sure got a big hug.

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My ears work much better in a dog park.

So anyway, she left on Wednesday and then yesterday was her birthday, and I didn’t even get to tell her Happy Birthday. I hope she knew I was thinking about her … and missing her. And, because I was missing her, I got looking through some photos. So this Foto Fur-iday, the theme is “Me and T”.

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She loves to do selfies with me.

 

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After a bath, she gives me extra towelling because she knows how much I like it.

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She’s always there with a hug, even when we’re not posing for a photo.

 

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And sometimes we just hang out in the same space.

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She takes me places, like to the Strathmore UFA in this picture…

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And horseback riding in this one.

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Even though I know I’m too big, she lets me sit on her lap…

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No matter the weather.

 

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And even at times when she prefers her solitude, she still lets me be close.

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I hope she comes home soon. I promise to be good. Well … as good as I can with these faulty ears.

Camping with Humans

It seems an odd thing humans do. They leave behind a perfectly good house with food and beds and a fully functioning bathroom to go and stay in a much smaller, less comfortable accommodation with more limited amenities. They call it camping.

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Just a short stroll from our campsite, where Boulton Creek meets Lower Kananaskis Lake.

 

When travelling you have to stay somewhere so I get it when we spend weeks far from home and stay in Sid, the trailer.  But when we “camp”, we’re only two hours from home. We could enjoy a day in the mountains and still sleep in our own beds. However, last weekend, there we were, camping.

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Inspecting the roof of “Piper“, G & S’s new home away from home (or maybe just standing on a picnic table and drinking?)

 

Did I enjoy it? Well, sure, after I got through the unfortunate incident on the way out. I’m not usually a car-sick kind of guy but the combination of happy traveller drugs, Orijen kibble, and a bite of Teresa’s muffin just did not want to stay down. I tried to warn them, but it seems my “I’m going to vomit” retching sounds a lot like my “I have a heart murmur” retching.

But anyway, aside from camping not entirely making sense, what’s not to like about being outdoors all day and going for walks in new places. These are things I can wrap my canine head around. And, due to my senior status, my inclination to behave (in human terms), and an abhorrence for being tied, I was left free in the campsite whenever I was outdoors. Chico, on the other hand, with his inclination to run out to meet anyone and everyone walking by, chase squirrels, and indulge in other such shenanigans, was always attached to the picnic table with a cable. Maybe one day, I told him, trying not to sound too smug.

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Chico was freed from the cable when he stayed in his chair.

 

We camped at a place called Lower Lake Campground in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park which is part of Kananaskis Country in the Rocky Mountains. Here I discovered the marvels of a pine forest and the enormous dog bed it creates. The prairie grass is nice but doesn’t have the pillow-top mattress feel of a forest floor with its many layers of detritus. Heaven. I used my manmade bed under the trailer at first but, once I discovered the giant mountain-made dog bed all around me, there was no going back. If only I could have brought some of it home to line my nests.

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Enjoying my pillow-top mattress.

 

So what does weekend camping entail? Well, when camping with friends G and S, a lot of human laughter, particularly when wearing Viking attire. Viking attire, you’re probably asking? And rightly so. It had something to do with a Monty Python skit and a Spam appetizer (spametizer) cooking contest. Humans entertain themselves in the strangest fashions. They were particularly tickled by Chico’s costume. (He … not so much.) On the plus side, despite Spam being the butt of many jokes and lending its name to unwanted email, we dogs found it quite tasty and were treated to leftovers for breakfast on Saturday morning.

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Chico in his Viking attire (me exiting right, heading under the trailer to hide).

 

Other camping activities included campfire sitting or, in my case, lying nearby in the trees, and walking, my personal favourite. On Saturday we walked to the Boulton Creek Trading Post and had ice cream. Lucky for me, ours came packed solidly into the bottom of a cup so Chico wasn’t able to pull the Hoover trick he can manage with a Dairy Queen cone.

On Sunday we took a longer walk, to a neighbouring campsite called Mount Sarrail. The best parts of this trail were the snowbanks spaced at convenient time-to-cool-off intervals and an area where the resident grizzly bears had been rooting along the trail. I’d never smelled bears before. There was no sign of the bears on Sunday, but G and S had spotted them by the lake early on Saturday morning.

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Heading back to camp on Saturday afternoon.

For us, it was a short Sid trip, maybe the shortest yet. I would have been quite happy to stay a few more days, lying in the shade of the pines, breathing in that cool, mountain air. And I think the humans would have been on board with that idea had they not needed to get back to their jobs and such. On parting, at the sani-dump station on Sunday afternoon, I heard the comment, “The season’s young. We’ll do it again.” I guess I’m a camping convert because, I sure hope so.

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End of the day in Kananaskis Country.