We woke up early this morning planning on taking the pups to Foster Dog Beach. However, after finding it blocked due to an event along the lake shore bike path, we headed south to Montrose beach. We live basically in the middle of both beaches and have always chosen Foster beach over Montrose, hearing crazy stories from friends and people we’ve randomly met. Foster is smaller and seemingly lesser known than Montrose, but Montrose has been ranked in the top 10 for dog beaches in the US by “Fido” magazine.
Montrose was actually fantastic. The beach was huge and the beautiful early morning brought a large amount of dogs running from one side to the other. We headed over to the less populated side to acclimate the pups to the craziness of the party. Both Link and Eve did fantastically. While Paul was throwing the ball to Link, Eve followed at my heels and playfully met other dogs with no signs of aggression. Both of the pups loved the water and meeting new aquintences. Jake, the Jack Russell/Husky mix we met yesterday walking was also at the beach today. All in all, today was a great morning at the beach. Tomorrow we will head there again for a Chicago dog festival.
In Virginia, the pups were treated to real dog luxury: the run of several grassy acres to themselves; lounging all day around a large pool, free to take a dip whenever they were hot; their choice of soft, cool sleeping spots; all sorts of new doggie treats; and mingling with a pack of new dogs including a black lab, two chihuahuas, a chocloate lab, a westie, and several cats.
On top of all of that, we decided that we had to go on a little countryside ride with them in the BMW convertible that Kyle and his Dad fixed up while we were there. It’s was a twenty minute trip through the Shenandoah with a stop in the middle for homemade ice cream.
I’ll say this: it was a bit nerve-wracking having the pups in the converible. It was impossible not to think that one of them was going to just flip out at any moment. We kept them on their leashes and held onto the leashes at all times, so the risk wasn’t too high. But, it was hard to sit back and enjoy the feel of the rushing wind, because I kept looking back every 2 seconds to ensure they were still there.
Of course dogs love to have wind blowing back their ears, so I have no doubt they loved the full effect of riding with the top down. But I think it’ll be a more enjoyable ride for us when they are older, more experienced, and a bit smarter.
While camping the lot of us decide to leave the campsite for a nearby park to play tennis and let the dogs run. Once we get there we realize what an idealistic imagination we have. To start everything off, everyone wants to play with the tennis balls and rackets. Rylee is swinging carelessly at balls rolling by, Link is collecting our balls at the far end of the court and Eve is fearful of not standing between my legs. However, we play on.
Rylee begins to pitch a fit for attention while Link acts as a bad ball boy would, keeping the balls for himself. Eve, like Rylee, is starved for attention and anyone who will meet eyes with her is nearly pushed over by her careening body. Needless to say, the game goes by very slow. We finally encourage the pups enough to sit at the net and chill out for a bit. Looking at their faces staring at you through the net is a little distracting when serving the ball. Peace isn’t kept long though, Eve both pees and poos in the middle or our court during the middle of our game. After washing the court off as much as was possible, we play on. Towards the end of the game Eve begins to attack the net. We finally give in and head home.
Naturally both personalities came through during this game. Link rarely stopped collecting tennis balls while Eve followed at my heels so closely I fell over her more than once.
Yesterday was a very bad day for dogs around here. It started with finding my sister’s 15 yr old Westie dead in the yard. It looks like Corky passed away naturally of old age and didn’t seem to have been in pain. She was a great dog and will be missed.
After discovering her outside, my Oma(grandmother) called and needed my help putting Henry, her black lab to sleep. Henry had been having liver trouble for several weeks now and Oma had been spending her time and money in Dr. Davis’s office trying to treat Henry’s problem. Eventually Davis concluded Henry was suffering from Liver cancer .
I drove Oma and Henry to the vets office to have one more consultation with Dr. Davis to exhaust any chance for Henry’s recovery. After concluding the best option was to put Henry to sleep, the vet gave him the shot in front of us. This was the first time I’ve ever been with a dog being put to sleep. It was incredibly tough, heart-wrenching and kept myself questioning if it was right choice to have made. The choice was hard, but it was right to put him out of his pain. Oma spent an incredible amount of money exhausting possible recovery solutions for this 5 yr old guy.
Looking at how hard this was, often raises a question whether its worth having dogs at all, knowing you’ll eventually have to go through them leaving you. Its a sad time, but when looking at the happiness dogs can bring to your everyday life, be it licking your hand to wake you up, following you everywhere or even stealing food off the kitchen counter, dogs never fail to put a smile on our face, make us feel loved unconditionally and give us reason for sleeping-in a little less each day to play with them. Having a companion is worth it.
Farewell to Corky and Henry; may they meet in doggy heaven all the other dogs who have so happily shared their lives with us before.