Please Fence Me In

I never thought a freedom lover like me would be happy to be fenced in but, turns out, at this stage of my life, it’s a good thing. I’ve mentioned in other posts how old age has me wanting to be outside all the time. Problem is, where we live, outside is a very big place and not without hazards. Until recently, nobody was too concerned about me wandering off on my own a little. I was independent and capable. But now I don’t hear so well, I can’t run very fast, and I’m certainly not up to fighting a coyote or badger or other such wild creature I might run across.

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First day in the new dog yard.

 

Truth be told, I’m not really inclined to wander much these days and am quite happy to just hang in the yard so they really don’t need to worry about me. Problem is, thirteen years of sneaking off at the first opportunity has created a certain amount of distrust in my people. I get it. I probably wouldn’t trust me either if I said, “Hey, don’t worry, I’ll stay right here where I’m safe.” Uh huh.

In my youth, I could run for miles, and did, every chance I got. Now it doesn’t take a lot of space to keep me happy. A few good den locations, a bit of green grass to chew on and lie in, a shady spot, and I’m content. Oh, and a house. I do like my dog house.

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Daytime deck and nighttime house.

 

So this year, in my fourteenth turn around the sun, Teresa and Nollind built me a yard. I like to think of it as my retirement home. It means I don’t have to stay in the house when I don’t want to and I’m let alone to do as I please when I’m outdoors. The best part? I get to sleep outside under the stars at night (although I usually prefer my doghouse).

And, yes, it’s also safe, and although the safety part is mostly for the comfort of my people, I’m probably just as happy to not tangle with a coyote, or a Ford pickup. I actually had a close call with a skunk a couple of nights ago. It was outside my fenced area but close enough I needed a deodorizing bath.

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One of my under-shrub dens.

 

So how big is “Logie-land”? Well, they used about five hundred feet of fence wire to go around it so probably about a third of an acre or so. Not a big piece in terms of the whole property but big enough for this old dog, and so much bigger than the little temporary corral they put together for me last fall when I was needing trips outside in the middle of the night. This new area wraps the whole house which means I can come and go via either door and hang out on both decks. There are treed areas to explore, good places to hide bones from Chico, and I just generally feel like I have a domain to patrol and protect.

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The bone I managed to bury well enough to keep from Chico for three days.

 

When I first joined the van Bryce household, I could escape from a 6-foot-high chain-link dog run, until they put a top on it. My new fence is just four feet high and I can’t even imagine going out over the top. But, other than yet another reminder that I’m not as young as I used to be, I’m okay to stay on my side of the fence, soak up the sun, sleep in the shade, and enjoy my retirement.

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A shady, grassy bit of heaven.

 

 

 

 

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Born to Run – A Foto Fur-iday

It’s Fur-iday again and, in honour of my buddy Logan, I’ve decided to make it a Foto Fur-iday!

He told you all about the state of his elbow arthritis last week, which surprised me since he’s not one to complain or talk about his troubles. The good news is, his 10-step program does seem to be alleviating some of the pain and he’s able to get around more easily. He even led a little, unsanctioned excursion to the neighbours’ place a few days ago when T was riding. She seemed angry, but I think she was secretly pleased he felt well enough to go on an outing.

The thing is, no matter how much that damaged wing keeps him grounded, in his heart, he’s a born runner. And he’s had the opportunity to stretch his legs in a lot of great locations. (Sorry about the blurry photos. Logan runs so fast it’s hard to get him in focus.)

A little mood music by The Boss

 

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Home in the meadow running with friend Roxie…

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…and in the snow with friend Jonah…

 

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…and with me when we used to love a good game of kick ball.

 

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Fetch time in a California dog park.

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A great catch in the Las Vegas dog park.

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Our first dune experience at Kelso Dunes, CA.

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More Kelso.

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The amazing white dunes of New Mexico.

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More dunes! These ones the Imperial Dunes of California.

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The white dunes of the Canadian prairie.

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Beaches are great places to run…

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…and Logan never passes up an opportunity.

 

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Clark Dry Lake near Borrego Springs, California.

 

 

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Lake Powell, Arizona

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Near 29 Palms, California.

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Home sweet home along the canal.

It’s going to be a different kind of trip this year without my running buddy, but I know we’ll have a great adventure anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 10 List

March 24, 2017

Just one more week and we’ll be on our way home. I have mixed emotions. On one paw there’s the freedom of life on the road, on the other the comfort and familiarity of home. Then on the third paw, there are the new places to see and smell every week or two. And, on the fourth, the little farm we all love.

But, no matter what my paws say, we are headed in a northerly direction. Although, earlier this week we did turn around and start heading south again, and backtracking is not normal touring behaviour for T & Nollind. We were in southern Utah until Tuesday when they decided to come back here to Nevada, something about chasing the weather. For Canadians, they can be a bit delicate after a few months in the desert and the forecast of cool temperatures and rain sent them running. It’s okay with me, though, I share their love of warm weather.03-Chico-top10-napping-1

It’s been a good trip for me, once I got past the broken toenail and having to wear a sock on that foot for protection. What were the best parts, you ask? (I didn’t actually hear you say the words but I know you were thinking them.) Well, in the style of David Letterman, here’s my 2016/17 top 10 list:

  1. Campfire time in my chair. We have campfires at home, but not nearly as often as in the desert, and because my chair is usually tucked inside one trailer or another, I have to lie on the grass. Down here, my chair is part of the outdoor furniture, and the Mexican blanket that keeps me from falling through the arms makes a perfect wrap on a cool evening.03-Chico-top10-chair4-1
  2. Snacks. T and Nollind are always pretty fair about sharing their snacks, but in a house the size of Sid I never miss a snack opportunity. In the sticks and bricks house, I might be in another room, on another floor, or even outside when snacking happens. In addition to what’s offered by my peeps, I am an expert at finding food everywhere we go. Fire pits are a particularly great food-finding location, only second to picnic tables.03-Chico-top10-snacks-1
  3. So many walks! Every day since December 1 there have been walks—short, long, hilly, flat, rocky, sandy, paved, morning, midday, evening, you name it. Once a day, twice a day, or sometimes even three times, we’ve been out exploring our desert surroundings.03-Chico-top10-walk2-1
  4. T & Nollind time. When you live in 300 square feet and your yard is a 10×20 mat, you just naturally spend a lot of time together.03-Chico-top10-nap-time-1
  5. Riding shotgun in Fang. I was hoping to be included in more of the actual trail riding, but between a need to keep Logan company and T’s concern for my comfort when out riding, my time in Fang has been limited to campsite scouting and other short trips. Maybe next year?02-chico-busy-in-fang-1
  6. Yoga with T. I don’t do all of the poses (especially not headstand), but I am particularly good at downward dog and corpse pose.03-Chico-top10-yoga2-1
  7. The new watering hole in the truck. Thank you to whoever invented this clever, non-spill bowl. It means that Logan and I can have a drink whenever we want while on the road.03-Chico-top10-watering-hole-1
  8. 03-Chico-top10-stairs2-1Steps onto the bed. This addition was more for Logan’s benefit than mine but I am loving it. Even though I’m only eight and not at the stage where I need senior dog props, I’ve never been much of a jumper.
  9. The new layout in the back seat of the truck. Until this year we had a backseat and floor because Logan liked to hide on the floor in front of the seat. But, since he normally likes to sit up and look out the window or walk around these days, T & Nollind turned the back seat into one big, flat area with a bed on each end. It means I have a spot to curl up leaving the rest of the space for Logan and his pacing.
  10. Meeting old and new friends, human and canine. From camping with old friends to meeting new ones, it was a great year for making connections. And everywhere we stayed, Logan and I made at least one new doggie friend.03-Chico-top10-trixie-1

I could easily turn this into a top 20 list but I’ll wrap it up here. Be talking to you next time from our little house on the prairie!03-Chico-top10-lookout-1