Doodle Travelers

Through the years the doodles have proved themselves to be pretty good travelers.  This Christmas was no exception.   Here are some highlights of our recent adventure…told through photos (phone photos… quality is just okay).

happy faces

Hour One: Are we there yet? Are we?

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Dash, ever the responsible one, kept track of where we were. I swear I could hear him commenting on the Navigation: “I would turn right in about a mile, would be quicker.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

one bed

Lilly: “We love hotels. This bed is great.  Uh sorry…did you want to sleep here too?”

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Dash: “Go ahead Lilly. It’s called an elevator. Perfectly Safe (I think).”

two beds

Lilly: “Great idea to get two beds.  Hmmm…still don’t know where you are going to sleep though…”

toys

Lilly: “Look at how many toys our cousins have! Wow! Can we take these home?”

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Uh Dash… that is your cousin’s bed ….the maltese.  Do you think it’s a little small?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dash and Santa

Dash: “I better keep an eye out for Santa. I really hope he got my letter.”

two doodles

We love vacation!  Happy New Year!

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Just Right

lets go

Lilly: “It’s the green bag, Dash… we’re going!!”

We have gotten into a bit of a routine, the Doodles and I, when it comes to Thanksgiving.

For three years now, we have gone to Crested Butte in southwest Colorado, about four or so hours away, and stay in a little cabin.  The whole time we enjoy being outside, being inside and being.

When I begin to pack up the green bag with doodle blankets, doodle bowls and doodle treats…they get seriously underfoot because, well, I think they know what is coming.

Where we go is a little “camp” with seven cabins and the caretaker’s house.  It is right on a creek, near two trailheads, the cabins are all winterized and dog friendly!  The cabins are a nice distant apart to allow for a little privacy and a little camaraderie.

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Here we are!! We are ready for a great time!

In many ways this year was the Goldilocks year.  The first year I rented a cabin that was too big.  I had to block off the upstairs so that no naughty doodles went up there unsupervised.  The second year I rented a cabin that was so small I couldn’t walk into the bedroom without bumping into the heating unit. “Goonnng,” it would echo throughout the cabin causing the Doodles, each time, to stand up straight–ready to guard and defend.

But this year, oh this year, the cabin was just right.  It was the right size, it had the most wonderful gas fire place, a sweet little kitchen table, a wonderful comfy bed.  Just Right!

I had told the Doodles that our plan was to enjoy our days filled with some walking, some resting and a lot of movies.  I brought about ten DVDs with me and two books… the plan was to watch the movies on my laptop.  So there we were on the first night after the long drive and a brief jaunt around the area.  I got the fireplace just right, made a little dinner, opened the bottle of wine and treated the Doodles to bully sticks.

I settled down to begin my binge watching with the series Dexter….hmm.. the DVD would not play on the laptop… it churned a little bit and then nothing.  And it wouldn’t eject.. I finally forced it out …  I put in another movie (maybe that disc is bad, I thought) so I tried Lone Survivor, popped it in.  Same response… no go.  Then I realized with a little bit of dread that the DVD player on the laptop was…  not… working.  (I had had my laptop rebuilt this summer, I remembered.  ARGH! I never tested the DVD player at that time!)

I admit a little panic set in.  The plan was evaporating.   There I was in the cabin — no wi-fi, no television, no nothin…!  I had not signed up to experience my own version of Wild.  Ohhh, I whined.  The doodles continued to enjoy their bully sticks.

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Have you heard of a long winter’s nap? I think this is what it looks like!

So, I regrouped, I snuggled into bed with my books and, delightfully, read the night away.  Ahh, it was Just Right.

The next morning, Thanksgiving morning, I said, “Let’s go Doodles, nothing to do here in this cabin, let’s go outside for the day.”  We bundled up and did just that.  We were out and about until early afternoon.  I think we walked and hiked 8 miles.  It was fabulous.  The sun was shining, the snow was gorgeous, the doodles saw their first cross country skiers!  They barked ferociously at these strange creatures with the long feet who moved so swiftly on the trail.

I stopped in the town’s grocery store and picked up some junky magazines and a word search book.

When we came back to the cabin, the doodles got a bone, snuggled down and snoozed.  I read and did word puzzles.  Not bad, I thought.  In fact it was…. Just Right.  We went outside and watched the sunset.  Ahhh, I exhaled.   We were all three asleep by 8:00!

dvd player

Yep, I am weak. I like my movies!!

Then… on Friday? Black Friday?  We drove to the Walmart in Gunnison and, yep, I bought a portable DVD player by 9 AM.  Yep, I admit it.

And that day the doodles and I enjoyed a great morning hike, came back to watch a movie during lunch, went out for a longer walk in the afternoon, came back to the house and watched another movie while the doodles enjoyed another chewie and a great nap.  And again it was Just Right.

Saturday, we were all three sad to be ending our vacation.  We all asked one another, “couldn’t we stay another day?”  But we knew we had to pack up the green bag and head for home.

The doodles snoozed most of the drive back to Denver.

And it was Just Right.

 

 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

It’s winter.  So it gets dark early.  And, it’s cold.  We have snow on the ground and temps in the 20s.  But the Doodles can’t spend all day inside.  And, certainly our back yard is interesting for only so long.

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Walking in the winter evenings!

 

So … we have figured out how to walk in the dark and the snow.  First off, me.   I got myself a bright color jacket and a head lamp.  Yes!  I can see and I be seen!

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Looking Good Snow Bunny!

But Lilly? Oh my dear little Lilly …  if I slip a smidge … she jumps on me.  If I slow down to walk on ice slowly, she stops and watches me.  She generally walks directly to my left.  Right next to me, constantly looking up at me to see how I am doing.  It’s her worry wart side, like she is saying to me, “We really shouldn’t be out here. It’s dark.  It’s icy.  You might slip again.  How are you doing?  Are you okay?”  I admit, I appreciate her attention.

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My left hand girl

 

Dash would walk for miles, he is so happy on a walk–any time of day, any conditions.  He bounces like Tigger.  The picture is bad quality — phone, darkness and the guy won’t slow down to pose!

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Bouncing along like Tigger!

And in the end, we all three love bounding up the steps to the house.  The lights shine bright and welcoming.  And we walk in to the warm house and snuggle up until the next time!

 

The First Saturday in November

Because the Doodles and I have been working hard these last few weeks, we haven’t been spending a lot time together.  I have been doing long days at school; and the doodles, well, they’ve been busy guarding the house for the many hours I am at work.  And, they have had to take care of the dog walkers too.  They have a tough work load!

So today, the first Saturday in November, we went out for an adventure.  We put together a pictorial representation of our day!

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First, we had to run an errand, so we ran through a park that had quite a pretty little statue. The Doodles did their obligatory barking and sniffing initially. Then they posed.

 

lilly

When we finally arrived at  the Dog Park. Lilly made a beeline for the creek!

 

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Dash found a hole! Looks like he is telling the other dogs: Hey look here!

 

 

the end

Dash and Lilly: We love Colorado!

Dash!

Dash: I’m coming! I’m coming!

Dash on the stairs

Dash: Let’s go up, up, up!

Happy Halloween From the Doodles!

The doodles are generally so good when it is time to take photos.  I say “let’s go, up the steps.” And they get into position.  They do get paid with treats so I think that helps!

And once we are set I click the camera as many times as I can with the hopes that one will work.  Going through the Halloween photos, I admit that I love this one — I caught Dash mid lip-smack.  But it looks like he is showing his cheeky side and giving me a blthhh!!

Happy Halloween to all!

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Being a Special Girl…

Lilly: "Oh Miss Sara, I love you!"

Lilly: “Oh Miss Sara, I love you!”

My Lilly is a special kind of girl.  She gets nervous when other folks are in the house.  She doesn’t like any kinds of loud noises.  When I sneeze or cough, she does her best anxiety smile, cowers and grabs a toy.  She has been this way since the beginning of time.

On Wednesdays, the doodles go to the off leash dog park.  Dash, of course, loves every minute of park day.  But, lately, trips to the dog park haven’t been so much fun for Lilly.  Our favorite dog walker,  Sara, was growing concerned with how anxious Lilly was acting.  In fact, Lilly was walking away from the group –heading back to the truck!  So, on a whim, Sara decided one Wednesday morning that Lilly would wear her Thunder Shirt.  Yep.  Thunder Shirt to the Park.

I have loved all the jokes.  It reminds my sisters of when I was a little girl and had to wear a t-shirt at the beach AND play under the pier so that I wouldn’t get sunburned.  It reminded a co-worker of kids who have to wear a headgear in an awkward time of life, like 6th grade.  Another friend said it reminded her of when her sister had to wear a back brace.  None of these are the best memories, but probably pretty accurate to describe my little worry wart.  Yep, that’s my Lilly: running through the park in a shirt.

But here’s the thing: it’s working.  Sara has seen less anxiety and more playing from Lilly.  Who would believe it? A big cotton wrap around her middle is calming her down.  Sara says the mood is completely different.  She is happy!!

This morning, I was home when Sara arrived and witnessed the wild time she has as she tries to get Lilly dressed. The whole time Dash barks at Sara.  I guess he is saying:  “it is time to GO!”  What a scene.  I tried to capture the moment with my phone camera.  Not a great shot, but I think the picture shows: Lilly is grateful to Miss Sara!

A Tale of Two Doodles

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Don’t be fooled by the nonchalant look…inside, she is a little bundle of anxiety.

I have two doodles.  They have much in common.  Both jump and bark when I come home.  Both like to go for a ride in the car.  Both go wild when they hear me pick up the leashes. Both know the sound of the treat bag. Both love to run off leash at the park.  But the similarities end soon after that..

As I write this, Dash is sitting next to me and talking to me.  Yep, he is the talker.  He is whining, whistling through his nose, making any kind of noise to get my attention so I will pet him.  And, I really think that he stays this close to me because truly he believes that I will throw down the computer and say, “oh by heavens you’re right young man, it IS time for a walk! Let’s Go!”  (It’s not time for a walk by the way…)

On the other end of the doodle spectrum, Lilly is sleeping quietly next to the back door right now.  (As an aside, she doesn’t snore, but man can Dash snore!!)

Her sleep doesn’t last for long.   She will be up pacing in about 45 minutes, then she will find a new spot in the hall.  Then, in another time period, she will move to the front door.  And, if I cough, sigh loudly or move in any slight way at any time before that, she will be up and checking on me.  She is an extraordinarily light sleeper.  In fact, if I can’t sleep and have a restless night, it’s a guarantee that Lilly will keep me company and, as a result, also have a sleepless night.  She and I have watched many a late, late night movie.

This weekend, we were all reminded of Lilly’s own anxious ways… my sister and her husband arrived for a visit.  Shortly after they arrived, we took our lunch outside and sat in the beautiful sunshine of Colorado in October.  Dash joined us, of course and talked with my brother-in-law.  Lilly was not with us.  When I went to look for her, I found her lying on my bed with a toy in her mouth.  Yep, visitors are a bit too much for her.  She can’t quite handle the greeting, the visiting, the chatting.  So she takes her time.  By the next morning, when my sister came up the stairs from the guest room, Lilly greeted her with morning gusto!

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Dash’s motto

If Dash and Lilly had ever been college students,  Lilly would have had to have a single while Dash would have easily been an RA and would have handled a freshmen group with great ease.

He is my steady guy.  Predictable, reliable. She is my nervous girl, predictably anxious.

So, yep, they are both doodles and they live together, but they sure are different!

Our night at the ballpark…

There is something that I am not sure I fully understand about myself that when I heard about bringing dogs to the baseball game I thought, “Dash would love that.”

Soon after hearing about Bark at the Park, I went online and bought tickets for the Rockies v Diamondbacks game.  And, after sending in Dash’s rabies certificate, I received the game tickets in the mail.  And, yep, one said right on it “Dog Ticket.”  Dash was now a ticket holder for a Major League Baseball game.

I never thought of taking Lilly.  She would not have fun at this kind of event.  Lilly likes smaller events where she receives lots of attention from me, and where there are no other dogs to sniff or distract her.  So Lilly stayed home.

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Here we are! (the water spots aren’t pee.. there was a water bowl at the gate)

Game day  arrived and off we went, Dash, me and our favorite college boy and his girlfriend.  And what a great time we all had!  All four of us were busy people and dog watching.  We saw golden retrievers, labs, little dogs in tutus, huge mastiffs and a few other doodles.  (How is that Dash gets really excited to see other doodles? Do they know they look alike?)

Unfortunately, there were a few dogs that made us wonder why their people brought them to such an event.  These were the dogs who snapped at other dogs or those who sat shaking and panting the entire time.  Seemed a bit wrong to have those pups there.

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Dash got pats and attention all night!

How was Dash?  Dash was in his element.  Lots to sniff, lots to watch, lots to eat.  Yep, he got his own hot dog, snagged some peanuts from me, enjoyed sharing a bottle of water with his boy.  He visited folks around us, he kissed the children who wanted to pet him and he barked when another pup came over and made the play pounce.

When we got home? He sniffed and talked with Lilly for a few moments, took a drink of water and then made his way to my room and THUD he was asleep.

Yep, it was a good night at the ballpark.  Oh, and yep, the Rockies won! 

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He never really watched the game…

Who’s the Boss Here?

I had to run some errands this morning and as I got ready the doodles spent the entire time whining and following me around the house. So I gave in and brought them with me.  It was a cloudy, cool morning so a good day for the doodles to hang out in the car.

After a stop at the eye doctor to pick up my contact lenses, I noticed we were parked right near a park.  I asked the doodles: want to go for a walk in the park?  Oh yes indeed!  The barking and tail wagging began.  We got to the park and it was clear … Dash was just where he wanted to be.  Lilly was equally pleased.  Sniffs, other dogs and yep, a romp up and down the playground equipment.

The playground equipment included these great stairs that led to the top of two slides.  So, like he has done through much of his life, Dash was thrilled to sniff every inch, to go underneath the equipment, to run up and down the stairs,  just to be there.

Lilly, however, had a different approach.  She went up the stairs, sniffed around and came down the stairs.  She did that once and never again.  It was clear that not even a thought went through her brain that she would do it again.

But I really wanted a photo of them sitting together at the top of the stairs.  So I begged her!  “Come on Lilly! Come on!”  I walked up the steps, I clapped my hands.  I coaxed, I cajoled.  Nope.  Not happening.  So the best I could get of the two of them was of Lilly leading the way down the steps.  Yep, I’m sure not the boss of her.

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Line Leader Lilly …

Dash, on the other hand, went up and down the stairs quite a few times.  Tail wagging the whole time.  And one time he even went down one of the slides.  His descent was great form!  Basically a hop, slide and then jump! And then he jumped up on me at the end.  His whole body was dancing.  Just made me laugh so loud!

I was so disappointed that I had missed it with my camera.  So, I began to ask him to do it again.   He looked at me like, sure!  He would bound up the steps,  take a look around the playground, take look at me and well, the video shows, I really ain’t the boss of him either!