It is an absolutely wonderful day today. The sky is blue with not a cloud to be seen, the air is stirred by a gentle wind, and the sun is warm. My birthday week has almost always been ‘Indian Summer’ (am I allowed to say that?) and I have my parents to thank for their good timing.
The day started early, but this time it was Spike desperately needing out. I dragged Carm out of bed to help as it is hard to walk both dogs together: each of Adia’s steps is equal to 4 of Spikes pottering waddles. Getting business done is tricky. We bundled into jackets and headed into the picture perfect morning. The sun was rising over the trees across the lagoon, reflecting in the water. I couldn’t have painted a lovelier scene.
Back at camp I fed the dogs and gave Adia a trazadone, an anti-anxiety drug … we were planning on breakfast in Morrisburg, and I had a plan to hopefully reduce the frantic howling that accompanied our last outing. I set up the app that I have on my tablet which records sounds - I was hoping to record the dogs while we were gone.
I took Adia for a long walk to prep her for her time alone… when it was time to go we carried Adia’s crate into the bedroom and with Spike in the bedroom too she wouldn’t be alone. She got a Kong to take the edge off and I closed the blinds to create a dimly lit den. Away we went.
I should mention that there are no campers near us, in fact the campground is basically deserted so we knew we wouldn’t be bothering anyone even if the dogs put on an opera.
Breakfast, pet store, Giant Tiger, and finally Canadian Tire. An hour and a half later and we were back… no howling when I got out of the truck. A bit of whining when I opened the camper door. Stop the recording and see what happened. For the first 3 or 4 minutes there was some whining and mild howling and then silence. In fact I wondered if the app had stopped working but then, in the last 30 seconds was Spike crying and me talking to them and turning off ‘Parrot’. It wasn’t perfect but I consider it a success as I imagine that the initial noise will fade as they get used to being left.
My next conundrum is: do I try the Trazadone again and keep the crate? do I try the Trazadone and have her loose in the bedroom with Spike? Do I drop the Trazadone and keep the crate? I think I’ll do the trazadone and drop the crate a few times, with ‘Parrot’ recording of course.
Once back from our outing and we got Grace outside, we went for another walk, this time a bit longer. Spike labours but Adia could walk for hours. It’s quiet here with very few campers which leaves large grassy areas open for squirrels and geese. Our spot is on the edge of an area with lanes lined with towering pines and cushioned with fallen needles. There is a hush. Peaceful easy feeling washes over me, calming the anxiety that built up by leaving the dogs alone.
Back at camp I dug out my speaker and sat outside with music. Bliss. Take another short walk, this time with just Adia, to look out over the water to the St. Lawrence. Too mucky to let her in the water. Back to my music. Oh yeah!
I’ll do a bit of time travel to get back to Tuesday. We went home in the afternoon for Adia’s school. She did great as usual but there are a few things we can work on - walking on leash without being distracted is a challenge. We are in the right place to practice this! I’ve started using two commands: let’s go, for a loose leash walk; and go sniff for less structure. Her stay is great and continues to improve (which you can see in the photos).
Carm golfed Wednesday morning and I took Adia to get her nails clipped, and then back to the shop with Spike to try on a harness. He now has a no pull harness with a comfortable breast plate. What he really needs though is a stroller :-(
We stopped at the vets to weight Adia and she topped the scale at 31.9kg - just over 70lbs.
Have I mentioned how beautiful it is today?
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."