Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pumpkin Patch - Part II

Our second stop was to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie's Island, a short hop down from Bella. The Pumpkin Patch has a long history and is highly visited. But it's not my kind of place. I'm not a commercialized kind of gal, I guess. That's my mistake and where I first went wrong. I should have known better and when parking alone on a weekday was so difficult, I should have turned away.

My second error was gravel as far as the eye could see. Where was the field? Where was the farm? Anything but farm-like buildings in dark red paint? It was all built to look like barns but that was it. Barn buildings and parking lots. But that wasn't the worst. Totally not dog friendly. Oh sure, they were allowed. But not on the hay ride to the field (which existed, but was so far from the parking areas as to be completely not feasible for my dear old girl). And not in the field. And presumably not in any of the buildings. So basically she was allowed in the parking lots on gravel and the small garden near the road. Blah.

So here was our hour long trip to The Pumpkin Patch.
 The only reason we spent that much time was because by the time we parked and figured out the lay of the land and unwelcoming environment, it was hot, her tongue wagging, and we needed shade. We ended up sitting at a picnic table near the gardens and visited with a young couple and their toddler daughter where, inevitably, Vegas was a big hit. 2018 pumpkin patch visits in the bag.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pumpkin Patch - Part I

Because I don't want to wait but I am trying to take better care of me, and thus my critters, by sticking to a schedule these days, I'll post a couple of pics (and I know that's what everyone really wants to see anyway) and get to my ramblings later.

We went to Sauvie's Island for lack of any better suggestions. I had posted to Facebook asking for personal experience/suggestions but really didn't get anything that were closer to home. I really like  a place called Lakeview Farms and I'm sure if I dig back in my blog far enough I've shared about our adventures there in the past. However, they are a solid hour's drive west from us and that's a bit much in the car for Vegas these days. Sauvie's is a half hour which is plenty. Knowing I could find at least one place I was familiar with good photo-ops and pretty scenery was what I needed. I would love to find a bit more photogenic places in the future but that will just take time and energy to make the tour 'o' farms, I suppose, to figure it out.

So we hit up Bella Organic Farms first. I've been there before. They have easily accessible parking, clearly marked entrance and exit, and a homey atmosphere.
Here's Vegas hanging out in the BRIGHT sunshine at the front of the corn maze. She really needed her shades today. Maybe a cool coat, too.
Then she just decided to go be with the band for a few. I know she needs to put a few pounds on but thankfully not as many as these guys!
This should have been a great shot. For a year and a half or so I've been doing my darndest to shoot manual. However, that doesn't always work these days with a senior dog and achy bones. Asking her to hold poses for any length of time just isn't fair when I have a learning curve. And going from shade to sun to shade to sun and my not knowing how to change settings quickly, well, it just didn't work out - mostly because the lighting overshot the backdrop and you cannot see the words. Oh well. She's a great sport. People, of course, were in awe of her as always with her cooperation with me.
And here she is, Miss America...... Miss Beautiful.... Miss Wonderful? Okay, all of the above. She's my everything. Such a trooper. Did I mention it was dry and fabulous out there? There were even clover growing where these pumpkins were. I'm always fascinated by pumpkin "patches." So often it's not even where they were grown. They are just a place to place them for customer convenience sake. Anyway, it worked for us with the cornstalks in the background. The bigger patch was further away and I didn't want her walking that far. So we took full advantage here of the lusher setting, full, dark pumpkins. And my pretty poser. She's a pro through and through.

Here's a few more and I'll call it a night. More tomorrow on the rest of our outing.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Celebrating the Moments

Wow, it's been such a long time since I've posted. What's amazing to me is what I used to do have on my plate when I posted a lot as compared to what I do now. I run through my mind these posts on a fairly frequent basis but somehow never sit down and write them. Perhaps it's time that needs to change. But no commitments for now because the truth is, I just can't make them. Life has too many things up in the air right now and all I can do is enjoy the moments. So without further ado, here are today's moments.

Vegas will be 12 on October 24. One of the things I have come to realize she misses the most as she has aged is the social interaction she enjoyed in all the years of doing agility and whatnot. We were always on the go, even if it wasn't a dog show. From the kids to our comings and goings from home, running in and out, my taking her places with me, there was rarely a time she didn't have interaction with others or trips from home that allowed some sort of stimulation.

As she's aged, as life has changed, as I've worked more, my kids were grown, I've become more of a homebody, there just hasn't been as much cause to leave. Our home now has so many stairs and leaving it isn't as easy. She isn't as able to just pick up and go for long walks or trips even in the car like we could on a level surface. Lots of reasons life is more quiet but I know that actually is so impacting that it could almost be construed or interpreted as depressing to her. So we've been working on getting out of that funk, trying to do a short walk at least every other day and seeking to do so during more busy times of the neighborhood so there's a social interaction likely as well.

Plus, with her birthday coming up and a brief health scare with some tummy troubles last week, I decided we would do a lot of fun stuff with all the nice weather this week. So lots of outings and I will for sure be documenting all of that.

Today we went to Sellwood Riverfront Park. There's access to the river, an off leash (unfenced) dog park, a beautiful wooded trail, and the amusement park is dog friendly if we had wanted to walk there. It was stunning. She forgets she's not a puppy and even tried to chase a couple of dogs. She walked right into the river, drank a bit, we strolled a bit along to shore, but her favorite by far is always the woods. Oh boy is she a trail dog. I blame that on our Wilsonville days. She always enjoyed the woods we had at Memorial Park - which was really not a big deal. There was just a looping configuration of trails throughout a few dozen acres of woods fronting the river between it and the park but we spent many, many, many days and hours there. I truly think today was a happy day for my old girl and the smiles show it. She should sleep very well tonight. 

 Big 12 Countdown Minus - 11 Days

Friday, February 26, 2016

Farewell Rachel, a Wonderful Friend

Maybe this isn't dog related enough but it's applicable for my blog. I wouldn't know Rachel if it wasn't for Vegas, our agility "career," and the world through which our paths crossed. Here is a tribute I posted to Facebook earlier today, a few hours after I learned of my dear friend Rachel's death. Rachel was just 40. She was healthy, strong, doing Crossfit, and starting to love life again.

Background: Four weeks ago tomorrow she had a swollen foot, she thought just a bit of edema from a blister that had split and gotten infected on her foot. She'd been treating it, keeping it clean, etc., but clearly it was not doing well. She was busy, thought she could take care of it, and let it go. By Thursday of that week she was nauseous, vomiting, and in urgent care. They gave her antibiotics and told her she needed to get to the ER if it got worse. By Friday afternoon it was worse and she called me. I got off work that evening, packed a bag, dropped my Poms with my mom, and Vegas and I headed to Tualatin. She was at the hospital awaiting surgery and I was to exchange cars with her, stay at her house that night, and take her dogs to her friend's in Springfield, Oregon the next day.

While she didn't bounce right back from surgery - spent almost three weeks vomiting and had to go back for another surgery - it seemed she was getting the care she needed. The foot, ultimately, had succumbed to cellulitis and morphed into osteomylitis which is why she had the surgeries. Her mom had flown out from West Virginia to stay with her while she recovered. The dogs were still at her friend's since she wasn't getting around well and didn't need their buoyant selves further injuring her.

Today, around 11 am, I checked my Facebook messages to see one from Rachel's sister. Rachel had a sudden pulmonary embolism yesterday at home that took her from this world. Rachel was mentioned many times on my blog, a blogger herself for a couple years on Boxers Do It Best.

I hate goodbyes, especially sad and too soon ones, so farewell, my friend. I hope to see you again over the bridge some day.

To put into words what seems unthinkable, what is so wrong, what should never happen.
To honor my friend. Rachel Tennant. She was just 40. She's had a rough couple years. Setting a career path and having it be so disillusioning, disheartening after so many years effort. But she was on the right track. A better job, one she could leave at the office at the end of the day, one that could give her back some freedom and allow joy and hobby and life. I saw the changes this brought in Rachel...in her attitude, her outlook, her spirit. I was so happy for her.
Rachel and I were fast friends, partners in crime in a sport we didn't quite fit into...because of the kind of dog we had. Agility, you see, is for people with herding breeds. But we had working breeds, she her Boxers and me a Dane. So we supported each other, entered the same trials, crated together, videod for one another, supported each other. Quite frankly like no other could. We had goals and ambitions, and we were making it happen. In between, we laughed, we saw movies, we went to Magic Mike in theater, we even went to a "live show" that shocked our socks off (and made me more than a little embarrassed).
When I fought with Ty, Rachel was there to bring a bottle of booze or to hear me rant. When he died, she was there. When I went through the most trying year of my life, moved away, and shut people out, Rachel was there anyway. When I lost my little Juicy, Rachel came out, told me what had happened, stayed while I cried and cried and cried, and she took care of my sweet puppy - even though she was a "not dog" in Rachel's book. You see, tiny, fluffy, purse sized dogs were not Rachel's thing. But loyalty and friendship? They were.
Rachel was strong and fierce and independent. She didn't ask for help. She didn't like to ask for help.
When Rachel went into the hospital three weeks ago, I had a chance to help. She resented it but I didn't. More than ever now, I'm glad I could help but wish it was more.
Rachel loved her Boxers. She achieved many things with her well known and beloved Harry Potter. Many don't know Nikita, but she started it all for Rachel. Nikita lived until 15, incredible for her breed. Rachel, I'm not faithful, not religious, but I hope you were greeted joyfully on the other side by these two. I'll miss you, my friend. I'll miss your humor, your intellect, your sarcasm, the hikes, the trials, and the unwavering friendship you always gave.
Rest in peace, dear friend. Enjoy the agility course over the bridge. Until we meet again.
Rachel Tennant
12/28/1975 - 2/25/2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 - A Year in Pictures

Since I'm not a very good blogger anymore despite the best of intentions... Here is Vegas' complete 52 Weeks for Dogs for 2015. This is the first year I didn't miss a single week.