Sunday, May 26, 2024


 It's been nice being back home again after our little "learning trip" to Tucson.   Now we're getting ready for a quick, very special, overnight trip with friends and for our summer long adventure.

I received this beautiful bouquet of flowers from Jesse and Erin (and sweet Anabel too) for Mother's Day.

  The colors were just spectacular, and they smelled good too!

Friday, we shared a Low Country Boil outside with Steve and MonaLiza.   The weather was just beautiful and warm, with a light breeze that ruffled our newspaper tablecloth.

While we ate and laughed and did the newspaper cross word puzzle, we watched for the full moon to show.    After a first, tantalizing glimpse on the eastern horizon, it slowly disappeared from our view.   Gone.       Later in the evening, as I was straightening up the patio area before bed, it peeked over the hill again, this time in the southeast sky.    What a tease!

Most of our time this month has been spent getting Beluga ready for her summer drive (changing the air conditioner capacitors, replacing the fuel fill connection hoses, changing all radiator hoses and the "slobber hose") organizing the Jeep for Taos' comfort and ours, and continuing to refine travel plans. 

insulating interior roof panels for the Jeep

Taos' comfy rear seat bed

Steve helps with the roof panels - it's a two-man job!

 Each day we try to take our little (big?) man somewhere or do something to enrich his life experience - or remind him that he must listen to us.    We went to a GDB class early in the month and it showed us that he needs a little more work around distractions.    He's rock solid on what we've taught him here, (sit, wait, OK, down, come, drop, ah ah, go lay down {I know it should be go lie down}, kennel, let's go, etc.)  and on his normal morning walking route, but when things get really busy around him, he feels a little unsettled and can't tune in to us.

peaked eyes and lip licking = nervous

 With a new handler in class, and surrounded by lots of other dogs, chairs, people, etc., his facial expressions told us how he was feeling.    We're working on those things now, adding more distractions as he becomes comfortable.    One step at a time!

zzzzz at the insurance office

relaxed at C and C Bakery

"WAIT" before enjoying happy hour treats


Mostly, he's just being a puppy and enjoying life.   That's part of growing into a good adult too.   He does love to help vacuum though.   Lucky Dave

who needs a ball when there's a vacuum around!

   And....let's not forget our little Anabel!    Grass feels funny but, kind of good too!    She's on the move.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Learning in Tucson

 We're back from our short trip to Tucson and Benson.    I was able to snag a week (then extended that stay by 4 days!) at our favorite site in Catalina State Park so off we went in search of learning.      Learning for us and learning for Taos.

We learned where Taos needs to sleep at night, we learned how he should ride in Beluga and in the Jeep when we're on the road,

he loves to stretch out in the Jeep's back seat

except at lunch time.....

We learned to NOT use a plastic water dish for him - He immediately picked up the full plastic bowl and carried it to the front of Beluga, pouring water everywhere as he went.      We learned that we needed a small, easily customizable fencing system outside.   Thanks, Gay and Joe, for accepting the delivery of fencing for us, it made life much easier for us all.

relaxed second cup in the sunshine

 We learned that he doesn't like the heat, we learned that second cup and happy hour are much happier for us if we provide him with a stuffed Kong and a few ice cubes (they don't make a mess when he dumps the dish).    "We" learned a few new games to play inside, actually he taught us a few new games.....

The game is called "how many times can I drop my toys down the stairs and pretend I can't reach them before they get wise to the game?"    Also known as the "how many toys can I drop down the stairs at once" game.

We learned how much our friends want to help us and how nice it is to connect with them again.    We also remembered how bad I am at taking pictures of people....sorry Gay and Jodee and Bill!

He learned to navigate Beluga's steep stairs, to watch passersby quietly,

 that people in golf carts often have treats, that snow is COLD, but tastes pretty good,

it was hard to find patches of snow at this time of year!

 that running water is OK to wade through,

 that trees often have fabulous smells at their base and that other animals leave p-mails everywhere!  

 He learned to listen, respectfully, to what old dogs say and that not everything must be explored (Thanks to Sally and Tessa).      He learned that pine needles don't taste good and that one doesn't necessarily need to take huge mouthfuls of sand. 

walking in the shadow of the Silverbell Mine

He learned to lie, quietly, under a cafe table even though Mom and Dad are eating croissants and bear claws right over his head.  

 He learned that the Jeep makes lots of quick stops, most often to look at weird cactus and pretty flowers.   Sometimes it stops in a tiny bit of shade to eat lunch...Mmmmm turkey sandwiches!

shade on Reddington Rd.

a giant friend offering me a small bouquet

He learned that there are plenty of jobs around the motorhome that require his help.

shaving is a two-man job

as is vacuuming.....

sort of makes a guy tingle!

Dave is very patient and needs to laugh regularly.....

And that no one will fault him if he falls asleep before putting his toys away.....

In between all our learning we managed to do a few nice new desert drives, have good visits with friends and a couple really yummy meals, both take out and in a new to us restaurant.

looking out of a window in the Silverbell Rockland Hotel ruin

Dave's new favorite Cioppino at Caffe Torino

It was a really good trip for us all and we look forward to the summer together in Beluga.

Oh, and here's sweet Anabel watching car races on tv after evidently having a catastrophic motorcycle wreck.