Heartfelt Thanks

Wow…..I’m humbled by the outpouring of condolences for the loss of my beloved Little Bear.  I initially struggled with the decision to write a post specific to his passing. However after giving it further thought, I realized Bear was such a part of our travels and included in so many posts, it seemed appropriate to share why he will no longer be featured in our travels.

Brittany Spaniel
Bear: Brittany Spaniel

I love receiving blog comments and I usually try to acknowledge each comment with a response.  I had every intention of responding to all the wonderful, compassionate comments on the previous post, but I was unable to complete a full sentence.  In my defense, I did make several legitimate attempts, but the flood gates kept opening blurring my vision.  What can I say?  Hopefully you’ll indulge my being self absorbed under the circumstances.

Instead of answering each and every one of your beautiful comments, and I mean beautiful, I’d like to thank all of you via this post.  Ah yes, eyes are still a little blurry but I think I can muddle through ONE response…..from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for your condolences and kind comments.  I realize most of you know exactly how I feel as you yourself have lost a beloved pet….some of you recently.  It’s never easy, but as the tears subside, we’re left with fantastic and loving memories.

Here’s to all our four-legged family members past and present…..cyber hugs to all and heartfelt thanks 🙂

Lake Powell
Bear ready to take flight from extreme winds at the shores of Lake Powell

A Sad Day

Brittany SpanielI awaken to the faint sound of a rooster crowing. There’s a light breeze blowing through the open bedroom window. I’m not sure what time it is.  I had a miserable and sleepless night.  I continue to lay in bed a little longer enjoying the morning breeze and listen to a horse neighing and some dogs barking in the distance.

As I turn over to glance at the clock,  my severely swollen eyes remind me of the previous days events.  It’s 5:30 in the morning.  I’m restless and can’t sleep anymore.  I crawl out of bed to start the coffee and go to check on Bear…..his bed is empty.  Oh yeah, I remember.  The tears start to well up again.

The events of the day before were totally unexpected.  Bear suffered a stroke.  The blood tests revealed…….not good, his body was shutting down.  Out of love and respect for our special four-legged family member, we say our good-byes as Bear falls asleep one last time in Al’s arms.

Best Pets
The perfect traveler….he loved to travel and explore new places

It’s been a week since we bid farewell to our precious Bear, and although the tears have eased, he is still very sorely missed.  Al and I still find ourselves looking to check on him or think we hear his paws on the hardwood floor.  The backseat of the truck, aka Bear’s throne, is empty.  There’s an emptiness………

We are blessed to have had nearly fifteen years of companionship and unconditional love from our little Bear.  We will cherish the memories and he will remain in our hearts forever.  May you rest in peace my beloved little Bear ♥

loss of pet
Bear visits the Grand Canyon…….my 3 wonderful children

It’s Tough Being a Dog

Brittany Spaniel

We’re out-of-town on an adventure without internet service.  Yep, left the technology behind.  So during our absence, I thought I’d leave you with a few images about why it’s tough being a dog….  from Bear’s point of view !

Monarch Pass
another darn photo-op

Mom is always stopping to take pictures.  I don’t know why she insists I be in her photos.  She says Brittany Spaniels are super cute.  Can’t I just stay in the car and sleep?

Then there’s the sleeping.

Brittany Spaniel
sleeping in a tent….roughing it !

On our last camping trip to Crested Butte, we actually slept in a tent.  Hey, what’s wrong with the RV?  And although it was fun sleeping next to mom in the tent, it got super cold at 10,000 feet in elevation and the pillow case was a mere 250 thread count.  Certainly not what this Brittany Spaniel is accustomed to.

Brittany Spaniel
this leather couch is great for naps !

At home, the leather sofa is always comfy.  Mom even helps my back-end up since I am no longer able to jump up on my own.  You know, I was never allowed on the furniture until I got older.  Yep, that’s right.  I used to get on the furniture when they weren’t home and immediately jump off when they returned.  Then one day I figured, what the heck, what Brittany Spanielare they gonna do about it?  All I have to do is bat my puppy dog eyes and mom and dad melt.  They’re such push overs.  There are benefits to getting old !

However, my eyesight ain’t what it used to be.

But my nose still works great !  I have to really insist and try hard to get dad to share his sandwich with me.  With persistence, I always win in the end.

Brittany Spaniel
having difficulty getting dad to share….  When I was younger, this kind of behavior was never tolerated.  Now that I’m an old guy, they let me get away with being a bad dog….fun times!

Mom and dad rely on me to be on guard at all times.  It’s a tough job, but someone around here has to do it.

Lake Irwin
Who goes there ?  Not worthy of getting up !
Crested Butte
Hey, wait for me…

Dad keeps me on a leash.  I don’t know why I can’t walk the streets of Crested Butte freely like Pork Chop the Golden Retriever.  We’re bud’s ya know !

Well, we’re off on another adventure.  This time we’re traveling in luxury and taking the RV.  My nose will be working overtime.  Yes, it’s a dog’s life……

Brittany Spaniel
here ducky, ducky…just a little closer

Bear Gets a Wagon

“You’re not leaving me behind”

The last couple of days have been a bit of a challenge for Al and me.  Our little guy and partner in crime had to visit the Vet.  Al and I know Bear is getting up in age and that dreaded day is on the horizon.  So whenever he shows signs of illness, we immediately think the worst and break down with emotion.

Fortunately it turned out to be a minor ear infection.  After a complete exam, medicine for his ear infection, refills for his heart condition, we get the awesome news, “He’s in great shape for a dog turning 14”.

Our recent camping trip to Crested Butte reminded us Bear is getting older and has physical limitations.  Our hiking is curtailed due to his limitations, but we wouldn’t dream of leaving him behind.  Thus, we arrange the plans of the day just as we did when the kids were young.  As Al and I were sitting around the fire ring (devoid of fire due to fire ban/drought), we discuss the scenario.  Al asks, “Um, what did we do when the youngens were 3 or 4 years of age?”  I remind Al of strollers.  No, no, oh no….I won’t be one of those crazy lady’s pushing their dog in a stroller.  “Hey, how about a wagon?”  I’ll only look “a little” crazy.  I can deal with that!

Let the shopping begin…..Radio Flyer?  Little Tykes?  Oh, what kind of wagon would Bear like?  Ya know, it’s his birthday present after all!  We find the perfect garden wagon that collapses just like a stroller….great for traveling.

“Where’s my wagon?”

So how does Bear like his new wagon?  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  The way it works is identical to a young child.  You let’m walk/run until they get too tired to go much further.  In Bear’s case, a leg will usually start to give out.  It’s not too bad when it’s a rear leg, but when it’s a front one, he biffs the pavement – face first into the ground.  Poor guy.  That’s when we know he’s getting tired and we put him in the wagon.   If we don’t intervene, he’ll go until he drops, as well as the next day he is so sore he will have trouble getting up, moving, and doing his “business”.  We don’t want that.  So Bear, our royal highness, gets chauffeured around once he’s pooped out. (figuratively and literally)

Happy 14th Birthday, Bear.  We love you!

Hey guys, I’m getting tired!  11,250 ft. in elevation is exhausting.