Monday, June 29, 2015

It's a Dogs Life - How My Dog Mom Spent Summer Vacation

Hi everyone - Abby the Lab here with an update on Mom's trip out West, to a little family home where she and her brother and her cousin would gather every summer and Thanksgiving. The little part to the right was built from the original structure, a small cabin that partially burned.  It was restored - Mom's brother making a number of trips down as that happened, then cousin L, designed the addition to the left, which in the last few years, came to completion. It's a fair drive from where everyone grew up but it's the perfect place to visit and meet for the holidays.

Since Mom's been taking care of her Dad far away, it had been a while since she could even consider a trip and wasn't sure her Dad was up to it.  But  Mom was SO looking forward to it as Dad's nursing assistant offered to drive him there and get him settled in with his meds and needs, and then Mom and her cousin could take over for her the rest of his stay.   Then Cousin L. would drive him to his home, where he wants to spend the rest of his days.
Mountain air, open meadows, no traffic. Behind them (not pictured as the sun was too bright) is a nice peak that usually has snow, but not this year, it's been really really dry, Mom said. At around 4000  and some feet elevation it gets nice and cool at night thought it was warm during the day.

Look - her room's still the same with the big bed and a loft to the left with another sleeping area.  No space is wasted in this place but there's lots of room for doggies. I had to stay home as she didn't have enough days off to drive there and back and Mom is NEVER going to ship me on an airline. Dad stayed home with me so I didn't have to get bored-ed as my live in sitter/walker was on vacation as well.
Yes, those are the little toy horses Mom and Cousin L. played with as little girls.

My Uncle -  Mom's Brother?  Well, he was a bit different.  He didn't want to bunk in the house with the girls or on the sleeper sofa where Dad would stay when he came for Thanksgiving.  No, during our summer vacations here, Big Brother bunked in the BUS.

No- not just ANY 1941 bus.  THE TWILIGHT LOUNGE
It has room for two people to bunk together and a dog - a fridge, sink, heater and fan, room to eat and drink and a little people fire hydrant outside in another building in case someone has to go potty.
Mom and her cousin, I'm sure came out here after grandpa was asleep last week, opened a bottle of something and toasted Allen.

Girlito the cat, age fifteen, elected to stay in the house.
Mom and her cousin L are very close.  Her cousins's parents died when she was a very young woman so she became a big part of Mom's family, and is more like a sister than a cousin. and big cousin L, also taught little cousin L, how to ride a horse. They did everything together, frosted their hair (oh no, there's photos!), got sunburned, boogie boarded, hiked and played and laughed.  Oh, how they laughed.
But there were a few years, with jobs and travel- they didn't see one another, and then came this place, a refuge for everyone from the stresses of city life.
Mom and her cousin are SO much alike, very outdoors kind of gals, who love horses and dogs and all sorts of animals. . . .
as well as all of those memories of growing up out West.

So many memories,  starting with the prune fights they used to get into with their brothers on Uncle G's ranch, they got into ALL kinds of troubles.  Now  it's just the two of them here and they're still getting into trouble.
Mom will wake up first, being on central time.  A check for bears wandering out of the National Forest next door, then  she will grab the laundry and make breakfast.
MMM.  eggs, chicken and apple snausages and homemade foccia bread made into toast!
Then time to sit out on one of the patios. All four sides of the cabin have a small deck so there is ALWAYS shade.
Mom and cousin L both loves bones and rocks, so there's LOTS of them around.

A Cactus made out of horseshoes.
All the posts were decorated with their favorite things.  Couson L's Dad worked for the telepone company so she decorated hers with transformers.

This one has metal things and bones - someone else's favorites.

Yes, my Mom is a little weird.

Hey -ANYONE can decorate with plastic flamingos and begonias.
But with acreage right on the edge of a huge national forest, there's room for all kinds of decor.
And animals

Buddy the horse, who travels to and from here in his own trailer, goes out to his pasture after an apple and carrot. Buddy is twenty-one and has a good life here and his other home down in the valley where he stays in the winter months.
After Buddy is settled, the place goes to the dogs.
I'm a rescue that's half German shepherd and half terrier. I can hear a cheese wrapper open from 200 miles away.  I am in love with Scout the neighbor's dog.
 Look - it's Scout the neighbor's dog.  I think he has spotted his lady love back for a visit.
 Come on Scout!  Up to our house!  G-Dog is ready to play with you!
I haven't seen you in like forever.
Luc - half Great Pyrennes and half Border Collie sniffs for deer, otherwise he doesn't leave Grandpa's side. Most of the dogs were rescues, but we did have a purebred or two come to the party.
 I'm ever so bored - will someone please pull out the Canasta game.
 I'll just sit here in case you drop a piece of quiche appetizer.
 Hi - I'm Sam - I'm one of the pawty guests.


After Mom and Cousin L. got the enchilada casserole, quiche and Italian ragout from the sun oven,

friends started arriving with all KINDS of foodables as everyone brought a little something to eat or drink.

Grandpa was so happy to see everyone as it had been a year since this group of family and friends was together to celebrate.
That's Scout's Grandma on the upper left.  She just lost her husband so she was invited to join everyone for supper.  Only one person here is related by blood, but we're all still family (though Mom is the "baby", adopted pretty late in Dad's life). 

You don't have to be related by blood to love someone.
Happy 95th Birthday to my favorite dog Grandpa! 
I hate when everyone has to go. 
But Grandpa had a wonderful birthday to remember always.
The sun is setting - it's time to say BYE BYE!


  1. What a GORGEOUS Place.... so full of TREASURES and MEMORIES and LOVE...

  2. Wow! 95 are impressive! Hope he had a pawsome birthday!

  3. Gosh, this looks like such a special and lovely place. How wonderful that your family has such a perfect retreat.

  4. What a wonderful place full of great family memories!

  5. What great photos! And that is a beautiful cabin, full of love and memories. BTW, we are just starting the conversation about the retreat next year so you haven't missed anything!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  6. Hari OM
    Family is the care and the love and the support and the sharing and the separation and the coming together and the ....well YOU know what family is!!! This was outstandingly beautiful and LOVING!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  7. Wow, what a grreat trip! It's a shame you couldn't go and play with all those other doggies, but at least your momma got to see everyone!

  8. Way too many wonderful things to comment on! Your Dad looks grand, and I am so happy for him to have you and vice versa. The trip may be hard on him, but look at his delight... Worth it. Absolutely worth it!

    I took my Dad to his 'home' in the Eastern Townships (Quebec Canada), when he was 90. It was a long drive - 4 hours, and we made many stops, each time was a struggle for him to get in and out of the car. But the look on his face when he was with his remaining family members on the farm was worth everything to him. He smiled all the way home. You are right, I believe your Dad and Mine share the same spirit.

    So glad to hear you will not ship your Abby (or any other doggie) via airline. Being involved, directly and indirectly in dog training most of my life, that is one nightmare I will not participate in. You being a pilot know the risks far better than most.

    Fair Winds...

    Cap'n Jan

  9. That all reminded me of our family trips to a cabin in the woods and lots of good memories. In fact, our Grampa Ed loved the area so much that we scattered his ashes there.

    Happy birthday to Grandpa!


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

Stop in and say hello. However, comments from strangers offering business links will NOT be posted. I