Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Has Arrived!

Oh wow did Spring finally arrive in the Pac NW! Even if it was for two days it was two days over the weekend, two glorious days of beautiful weather. I was just a *smidge* excited!

Saturday was a bit lazy to start. The dogs and I slept in then had breakfast. I decided 10 was the time I would be outside mowing the lawn. It takes about two hours and the dogs hang with me during that time. Vegas played fetch off and on and romped around being silly plus monitoring the yard and neighbors' comings and goings, too, like a good guard dog. After the great lawn mowing escapade, we mostly just waited around, me doing some chores, the dogs watching me with eagle eyes to make sure I didn't sneak out without them. We were waiting for my dad to show up to do some work on my truck. Once he did, some work ensued including mixing up some banana bread. I'd asked Dad to bring his dogs along, Trinka and Georgia, since I figured they would be better off hanging out with us than stuck in crates at home. With the bread in the oven, I braved taking all four dogs for a walk. Georgia and Trinka were on Gentle Leaders with a tandem leash; Vegas and Leo on their collar and harness, respectively, and regular leashes. By the end of the block I was laughing. At the end of the street I figured people questioned my sanity. Dad's girls are German Wirehair Pointers, approximately 50 pounds a piece. They have a lot of energy. A lot. They don't get to expend enough.

We ended up doing one of my favorite 3 mile loops taking the back way from our neighborhood to Memorial Park and coming back through town. The dogs were surprisingly good and we had a nice time. It definitely took the edge off for when we came back home. The dogs ended up staying the house with me the rest of the time since they got a bit whiny and barky in the yard.

I taught class that evening and came home to a late, late, late night making dinner, cleaning house, playing with dogs, chatting with Dad, and wrapped up for bed just after midnight - Yawn!

Sunday we went to Champoeg for a lovely hike. The weather was glorious! Such a change from a month or so ago on our last trip. The wildflowers were in bloom. The undergrowth and foliage was lush! It hardly looked like the same place. It seemed at first we were going to run into quite a few people but we managed to have a lot of our trails mostly to ourselves. The perfect morning. Almost three hours and I could have kept walking around and exploring with the dogs all day. They had a ball although Vegas was less energetic than normal. Such a sudden increase in temperature for our explorations makes for a tough adjustment. She'll get there but she trooped along joyfully anyway.

Vegas practicing her cow routine

This picture shows Vegas watching curiously at the grass where the snake slithered off. Being as this park seems to be the only place we see snakes when out and about hiking, I need to make a more hard core effort to learn about the species in our area and to make sure they aren't harmful. I know they're not going to be significantly of concern but the last thing I want is to be caught unawares with 120 pounds of dog.

More cow practice...Moo!

As if that wasn't enough for the day, I took Vegas out for another walk with a friend for just about two hours late Sunday afternoon. We wandered around the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant, taking a different route as we left that brought us over by the middle school and a lovely nature path behind the school through some of the wetlands. We headed in the direction of home and thoroughly enjoyed our time. Vegas was definitely walking sedately, unusual for her, but a black dog in the hot sun makes for a tired, big dog.

That wrapped up our weekend but what a weekend it was. I am so grateful for those spring days no matter how few they are. They renew my spirit. They rejuvenate me. And they allow me to enjoy my dogs to their fullest. What a great weekend!


Tonight was our drill team practice. In our normal fashion, it took us a bit to get around to business. But once we did I think we directed ourselves well and accomplished a good amount of review and solidifying some of the movements to ensure they will fit in the time counts allotted. Vegas also got to romp and play a bit with her friend, Wally, and I always enjoy seeing her play with other dogs. I'm counting on the rest of the week rocking as much as the last couple of days. Hope everyone else's is good as well!

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