It’s been almost two months since the authorities in Alberta started telling us to stay home, social distance from our friends and family, and only go out for necessities as infrequently as possible. They also closed a lot of businesses that cater to gatherings of people, like restaurants and concert venues, a couple of T and Nollind’s favourite outings.
It’s pretty normal for me to have one or both of my peeps around the majority of the time but the big change these past couple of months has been the lack of ride-alongs and road trips. Ever since Logan died, I’ve accompanied my people a lot more frequently when they leave the farm, but this past winter, when the temperatures were ideal for leaving a dog in the car without overheating or freezing, I went along just about everywhere.
A lot of the journeys were errand runs, but there were a number of more purpose-built adventures, day trips to nearby towns, overnights to slightly farther away towns, and always trips to parks or walking trails added for me. I’m so good for them. I think they’d be couch potatoes without me.
I was hopping in the car for one adventure or another multiple times a week: Strathmore shopping followed by a walk in Kinsmen Park, a business trip to Calgary, followed by a walk along the river, a concert at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod that meant an overnight and multiple dog-walk locations. In short, it was a great winter. We even went on a camping trip in February that I wrote about in my Wintervention post. For a winter of staying home, we spent a lot of time away from home.
And then March came along, and the whole world changed, for all of us. We’re lucky out here on the prairie, with lots of space to walk and spend time outdoors without being in contact with other people. I’m pretty content here, especially with T and Nollind around so much, the horses to visit, the cats to sniff, the wide open fields and the irrigation canal to walk, but I do miss what had become my regular excursions off the farm. Especially the ones that involved food, like breakfast at the Husky House in Strathmore.
This past Sunday was Nollind’s birthday, and he decided he’d like to take a drive. I was included, of course, and we drove half an hour east to a place called Severn Dam Park, a popular fishing and birding spot on the prairie. I was surprised by just how good it felt to walk on different earth, enjoy a fresh view, and experience some new smells and sounds. We took a walk to the south end of the reservoir, T snapped some pics, I riled up some dogs that were attached to their fishermen and weren’t allowed to come visit me (always fun), and we had tea from a thermos and cookies from a baggie when we got back to the car.
It was a simple trip, close to home, didn’t infringe on any physical distancing or travel rules, and was ever so good for the soul. This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Maybe I’ll plan another such excursion for T, my dog-mom. I think she’d like that.