First Fur-iday

It’s the first Fur-iday of December and it’s got me thinking about how this blog got started. In one word … Logan. It was his idea. He wrote the first post, gave the site its name, and signed me up to write every second post. It was tough for me because Logan had a sort of cynical way of seeing the world that made people laugh. I’m a bit of a clown in person, but in writing, I had a hard time living up to the standard he set. However, once we began posting weekly and wanted a regular day, I was the one who came up with Fur-iday. :o)

I miss Logan. And not just his physical presence in my days as a friend to explore the world of scents with, but his storytelling, his sense of humour, his every-second-week posts in the blog. I considered ending Chico’s and Logan’s Great Adventures when he died. How could it possibly go on without him? And then I hoped he’d find some way to send his stories from wherever it is he’s gone. But, so far, no word from beyond. Now that he’s left behind that old wreck of a body, he’s probably too busy doing this…

or this…

or maybe this…

This morning I took a tour through the early days of our blog and reread some of my favourite Logan moments. And then I thought of a way to include him in the blog and keep his spirit alive. On the first Fur-iday of each month (Fur-st Fur-iday?), I will dig back into the archives for Logan’s wisdom and humour, combine it with some previously-unpublished photos, and add in a little of my own commentary.

Welcome to the first First Fur-iday!

Me in November of 2011

On the 11th of November of 2011 (11-11-11), it all began with…

Hi, My Name is Logan. I’m probably not your typical blogger; although, admittedly, I haven’t read a lot of blogs. I’m a 7-year-old Border Collie/Lab cross. Yes…a dog.

Logan, November 11, 2011

The dog blog was born! We were just setting out on a big adventure, a 5-month RV tour in the United States, and Logan thought it would be a fun way to chronicle the journey and share our stories with friends and family. Just as T and Nollind had no idea that our original trip would turn into another four winters of travelling, Logan and I didn’t know the blog would become a weekly event over the next seven years (and counting).

Arriving at our first mini destination in Coldstream, BC.

In that very first Logan post, we got a taste of a subject that would come up again and again in our adventures, his travel anxiety. Me, I never understood it. A dog bed in the truck doesn’t feel a lot different than a dog bed in the house other than the gentle motion and noise that lulls me to sleep. But Logan didn’t see it that way …

The stops are filled with new sights, sounds and, most importantly and best of all…smells! It’s an absolute scent-fest every time we stop in a new place. Travelling between stops is a lot less appealing, or let’s make that more terrifying — hurtling down the highway at great speed with others doing the same thing in the other direction. Does no one else see the danger we’re in? Have they not read the newspapers or watched the nightly news? My people sit blissfully naive in front, seemingly enjoying the ride, regularly trying to reassure me of the safety and okay-ness of it all. But I’m not falling for it. I’m a Border Collie and we’re known for our intelligence. Some might say we’re obsessive…I prefer to think of it as focused.

Logan, November 11, 2011

Our first RV park dog run.

It would also be the beginning of Logan’s experimentation with various kinds of recreational herbs and medications…

The morning we left Canada, they slipped something into my food. It made me feel a bit sleepy, but I fought it and remained ever awake and vigilant all the way to Spokane. Somebody has to watch the road and remind them of the dangers.

Logan, November 2011

For all his wonderful qualities, and there were many, Logan was a terrible travelling companion, for humans and dogs alike. If he hadn’t been so easy and happy once we arrived somewhere (see earlier comments about sights and sounds) I’m sure T and Nollind would have left him in the care of someone at home and we probably wouldn’t have stayed away as long without him.

Our five trips south wouldn’t have been the same without Logie.

Luckily for me, Logan was a trooper, T and Nollind were patient, and we were able to tell many stories in the pages of Chico’s and Logan’s Great Adventures over the next seven years.

Check back on the first Fur-iday of January for more from the Logan archives!

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From Forgotten to Foster to Forever

Two weeks ago, Logan told you his story of how he came to be here with T and Nollind so I thought I’d tell mine. It’s not quite the little orphan story that Logan tells, poor guy. I was never a stray. I never had to live out on my own or scavenge for my meals, although I think I would have made a great scavenger. No, I was left behind when I became an inconvenience, an expense. I was forgotten.

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How could anyone forget this face?

I spent my first couple of years as part of a pack of three out west of Calgary. Our guy, let’s just call him Dick, used to ride his horse into the little community near our home, tie the horse outside, and go in for a drink, or two, or three. Well, we dogs always got to tag along and spent our time in town sniffing about, visiting people, getting into what we could. It was a great time … until we discovered we were breaking the law, or Dick was, and we got arrested. Still haven’t sorted out just why we got arrested and he didn’t but, anyway …

So there we were, the three of us dogs, in the pound. No worries, we thought, Dick will come for us. Everybody knows who we belong to. But he didn’t come. Rumour was he didn’t want to pay the fines. I guess we weren’t worth it.chico-story-7Unclaimed by our owner, our fate was uncertain, until Misty Creek Dog Rescue stepped in. Apparently, the bylaw officer in the community had a connection to Misty Creek and, hallelujah, we were sprung from jail. After a short stay at the Misty Creek facility, we were each fostered out to kind volunteers. I missed my brothers, but the people were nice and there were a bunch of other dogs where I ended up so I was content … until the nice people realized they had too many dogs and I needed a new foster home. One day the doorbell rang and when my foster mom opened the door I saw them for the first time, the people who would become my new family, T and Nollind.

chico-story-13They clipped a leash to my collar, made a quick stop at the truck to pick up Logan, and we were off around the block. I do love a walk, and, in my enthusiasm, can forget there’s a human holding the other end of the leash. By the time we were back at the truck, I knew I’d not made the best first impression, dragging T down the street. Since they were initially just foster parents, I had some ground to make up if I wanted to convince them that I should be a permanent member of the family, and I soon had my opportunity.

Before we’d gone a mile down the road, my back seat partner started panting and shaking. I was worried so I placed my paw on his head, to comfort him. Not sure it helped him but it certainly worked well for me. My action was met with an, “Aaawww … look what he’s doing” from the front seat. Plan A, or Plan Adorable, was afoot.

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Fast friends … outdoors.

By day two, things between Logan and me were fine outdoors but, in the house, there was some alpha dog posturing stuff going on. I decided I’d better mark off some territory and peed on the wall in the hallway. Logan immediately covered. T caught him, knew immediately what had happened, and we were both in trouble. Oh oh. Although I’d been showing off my superior kenneling skills at night, I knew I had more ground to make up.

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Building up good-boy points.

It was time to hatch the next phase of Plan A. I’d noticed that, although Logan is a friendly sort, he’s not what you’d call cuddly. I’d found my way in. That evening, T and Nollind were sitting on the couch watching a movie and I hopped up beside T and cuddled in. It was met with another “Aaawww” and “he’s so sweet”. You betcha.

On day three Misty Creek called saying that someone was interested in adopting me. T was in tears. I didn’t like to see her upset but I knew then that, despite my missteps, Plan A had been a success. We went to Calgary the next day, the paperwork was signed and the adoption fee paid. I was home … for good.

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Foto Fur-iday – Just the Two of Us

I wasn’t sure I wanted another dog in the house, but it’s five and a half years now we’ve been partners, brothers, and friends and, you know, it’s been okay. Good even. Chico can be an annoying little runt, and I still don’t let him eat with me, but he’s pretty good company most of the time. We put together this little song & dance number for you (just ignore the Happy Valentine’s message at the end) and following that is a photo journey of our time together.

Just the Two of Us

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One of our first walks. It was fun to hang out with someone who could smell what I could smell!

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And he also liked to chase after a ball. I was faster back then, but he has a grip like you wouldn’t believe!

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There was a bit of a bed issue early on but, once there were more places to sleep, it was all good. I sometimes prefer the floor anyway.

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And this is a rare occurrence, but every now and then, it’s nice to hear another canine heartbeat when I nap.

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It was when we started travelling that I truly came to appreciate the companionship. He’s a great traveller and, although it hasn’t resolved my travel anxiety, it does help to have him riding shotgun.

Watching for marauding dogs

And he helps me guard the fifth wheel with an admirable vigilance.

Joshua Tree

It means I don’t have to pose alone for shots like this one beside the Joshua Tree…

Logan Mar 28 waiting at gallery

and I have someone to wait with when Teresa & Nollind venture into “no dogs allowed” places like this one in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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He’s just generally good company and he’s continued to grow on me over the years. But don’t tell him I said so. The key to my alpha status is maintaining a certain amount of mystique.