Flashback Fur-iday – A Dog and His Boy

It’s a special day in our house today, so I thought I’d do something a little special for the blog. It’s Nollind’s birthday. Can you believe he’s almost 400 years old in dog years? I know. Me neither. He looks pretty good though, don’t you think? For an old guy, I mean.

Me and the birthday boy.

Anyway, in celebration of Nollind’s 371st dog-year birthday, and because it’s a First Fur-iday when it’s time to bring Logan back to the blog, I decided to share some stories, about Nollind and Logan. These are third paw but I will do my best.

Sure looks like a dog person …

For starters, Nollind wasn’t really a dog person when he met T. His family had a cat when he was growing up but never a dog. T told me he used to run for the soap and water every time he’d pet one of us back in the old days. A little hurtful, but kinda funny.

Never one to take on a new thing half way.

When T and Nollind moved to the acreage and T wanted a dog, Aspen came into their lives. She was like the trail blazer for those of us to follow, breaking Nollind in to the idea of living with dogs. Hard to believe but, at first, he wasn’t crazy about the idea of dogs in the house. T sorted that pretty quickly but then it was, okay, dogs in the porch, but no farther. Then it was dogs on the lino but not on the hardwood, which is about one third of our house. Dog-kind was making inroads.

Funny thing was, Aspen preferred to be outdoors!

It wasn’t long before Aspen was sleeping at the foot of T and Nollind’s bed at night (which was on the hardwood) but that was where he drew the line. Definitely no dogs on the furniture!

Then … Logan came along.

In the early days … right beside Nollind’s desk.

Ironically, when Logan first arrived, he’d probably not been in a house before and was afraid to come past the porch. But that was just for the first few days. Once he was in and comfortable, he started scouting around for the best place to sleep. Turned out it was the couch.

Couch time.

Nollind weakly attempted one last stand … “Okay, the couch but definitely not the bed!” I’ll let the photo tell you how that turned out.

I’m not supposed to what?

It isn’t that Nollind is a push-over, far from it. He just discovered that he is a dog person after all, and more particularly a Logan person. That black and white dog had him wrapped around his little toe (example in video that follows). And, in turn, Nollind was Logan’s person. Logan had a long list of people he liked, but Nollind was at the top of the page.

Logan’s appetite wasn’t the best in his old age. This was Nollind’s solution.

We’ve all missed him these past seven months but I think Nollind feels Logan’s absence in a different way than the rest of us. Logan was like his Yoda of the dog world, his teacher of dog ways, and his first puppy love.

So, Nollind, since I have already given you the greatest gifts a dog can give, my unconditional love and an entertaining personality, I’ll just say … Happy 371st Birthday!!

And, from Logan, for your birthday this year, the only thing he has left to give … sweet memories.

Corn maze in central Alberta.
On the Trail in Kananaskis Country.
Sharing snacks along the Colorado River.
Break on the trail near Lake Mojave, Nevada.
White Sand Dunes, New Mexico.
Campfire time at Quartzsite, Arizona.
Imperial Dunes, California.
Huntington Beach, California.
Autumn walk in Boise, Idaho.
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Flashback Fur-iday – RV Time

One of the things I didn’t mention in my Cypress Hills blog post was how it felt to be RV camping without Logan for the first time. It was the first time for me and for T & Nollind. Logan joined the family in 2005 and Larry, the first RV, didn’t arrive on the scene until 2011, the same year I was adopted. So trailer time has always been a four-of-us activity.

This magnet lives on the front of the oven in Sid.

So, how did it feel? Well, like something was missing. Sure, it meant I could have the couch all to myself but I didn’t really want it. I like my “Dixie” bed (it was a gift from an old friend) and the couch just felt lonely, and cold. And I had to manage campground surveillance without my fearless leader!

Keeping an eye on things.

… trailers and motor homes mean vehicles driving by, people walking and, worst of all, other dogs! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met a dog I didn’t like (well, until yesterday, which I’ll tell you about in a minute), but when they’re walking anywhere in the vicinity of my trailer, my people, or my campsite, I can get a little growly. I’m just reminding them to respect the boundaries I’ve set.

January 2017 – Head of Security

Logan’s surveillance photo of above-mentioned dog.

Logan was kind of a home-body, a topic for a future post, so he wasn’t entirely clear on the concept of driving an hour or two from home to camp.

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.

June 2017 – Camping with Humans

What’s with this camping stuff?

But he did have a way of making the best of any situation, and discovering the joys in each place or activity.

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 man-made 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.

June 2017 – Camping with Humans

Discovering the joys…

We’d only stayed in Larry the RV for a few nights at T’s annual horse sale gig before we set out on our first big winter adventure. Living in a 25-foot trailer was an adjustment for all of us but Logan adapted quite quickly.

Below is where I live now and the yard changes every few days. It’s a nice little place, where the rules seem much more lax on where I can sleep, so I move between the couch and the bed when I’m home.

November 2011 – Hi, My Name is Logan

Learning to love RV travel.

RV living and being on the road have their challenges, and Logan was always quick to point them out.

Coming from a farm on the big flat of Alberta, it’s tough to be sandwiched into an RV park and restricted to peeing on one small patch of earth designated for that purpose. The plethora of canine odour that rises out of the sand is pretty enticing, at first, but even I have to admit the place rather stinks. That was life in Las Vegas.

February 2014 – Into the Desert

What we called the “pee park” wasn’t great but the dog park just down the road was a real hit with Logan.

But he also appreciated the good stuff and regularly commented on it.

We did 12 days in the desert near Quartzsite and then Bouse, boondocking, as they call it down here. It’s basically camping outside of an RV park or campground for no charge. Chico and I love boondocking — not enough water for baths, a lot more off-leash time, no being cabled to the RV whenever we’re outside, and lots of walking. You’d think it would be lonely but we actually seem to meet more people and dogs out in the desert than we do in the parks!

February 2012 – How do Dogs Live Down Here?

Our first experience of boondocking near Quartzsite, Arizona.

Camping and RVing will never be quite the same without Logan, but I like to think that his spirit is there with us on the road, whether we’re camping a few hours or a few days from home. He wasn’t a great traveller, which I may write about another First Fur-iday, but he was a happy camper.

On the couch in Sid, one of his favourite spots.

Flashback Fur-iday – How Logan Saw the World

Yesterday made five months since Logan died.  In some ways, life without him has become normal but there’s still this empty place in our lives, the place he used to occupy.

That he left at the end of September was good planning on his part, if he had any kind of plan. Winter would have been a struggle, especially this past month of colder than normal temperatures. I imagine him somewhere warm and sunny with soft, green grass, plenty of shady spots, and loose soil easy for digging dens.

Sunny days.

One of the things I miss most about my old pal is his way of seeing the world around us, not always accurate but regularly entertaining.

Our first experience with an ocean beach was on the coast of California north of San Diego. Wide open space to run, plenty of other dogs, and …

Cold, noisy, salty water that chases you — not my idea of a good time. To me, the beach didn’t seem so different from the desert, except that there were more people and it was a lot noisier. These big waves were crashing in on the shore and the water would race right up at me! Very unsettling. 

Jan 2012 – Beach Boys

Staying well away from the waves.

We were still on the coast for New Year’s Eve that trip and the peeps took us for a walk on the beach, early to avoid the fireworks … or so they thought …

The sky lit up and started to explode in all directions with the loudest popping and banging I’ve ever heard! I tried to head for the houses that were all along the beach, thinking someone would take pity on a poor, frightened dog, but Teresa and Nollind kept pulling me back to them, out there in the open, exposed to the terror! It felt like the longest walk of my life and I was never happier to see our trailer. I don’t see how terrifying dogs is a good way to celebrate anything — I may never understand the human species.

Jan 2012 –  Beach Boys

Early morning walk when the beach was safe from explosions.

I love to lie in the sun (Nollind sometimes calls me Sunny D), soak it up through my red and white coat. But hot, sunny days were a different deal for my buddy Logan …

Have you ever tried wearing a black fur coat on a hot, sunny day? Yeah, well, I don’t recommend it. When I was young it seemed like a smart idea to be well-dressed for any occasion, but that was before we started spending winters in the south.

Feb 2015 – Horses, Hiking, and Hazardous Places

In the shade of a mesquite tree near Wickenburg in 2018.

Logan was pretty much impervious to snow for the first five years I knew him, but when he got older …

I’ve been stuck in the snow more than once so I mostly tend to stay on the road and driveway. I actually got stuck head first in the yard when I tried to get to one of my caragana dens. Teresa had to put her boots on and come pull me out. I used to love the snow, but that was before it became my enemy.

March 2018 – Made It

On top of the snow … for the moment.

But melted snow, now that was a different story…

There’s just something about getting my feet wet and drinking from a fresh body of water that is soothing to my canine soul.

March 2018 – Da Boys at Da Beach

Spring run-off.

I could go on and on with Logan’s view of the world but I’ll save some for another day. Next week I’ll tell you all about my recent adventures in that frozen white stuff!