Celebrating summer with a little SUP pup moment.Read More
My first trip to the Windsurfing Capital of the World, the Columbia River Gorge, was 1987. I got slammed. But I was hooked. I came back every summer that I could, traveling 20 hours each way in a car packed with dogs, camping gear and boards.
It was like leaving the bunny slopes of San Diego's Mission Bay and stepping up to the black diamond runs of windsurfing.
The dogs and I fell in love with the place - the majestic scenery, the active lifestyle- the small town community spirit. So we moved here 10 years ago. Though we miss the good friends and family left back home, it was the best decision ever.
It howls wind here. The dogs sail with me on light wind days, at the beginner beaches, Hood River Event Site or The Hook - the only places I feel it's safe for them.
They always wear protection - wetsuits, life vests and leashes. We've not had a near miss with windsurfing dogs, and I never, ever want to.
Then some genius invented SUP (stand up paddle boarding) which is far less challenging for dogs, so we could go out every day! All four of us, before we lost our old basset boys to old age last year.
It's all about the ride. The ride of life with a dog.
Barb Ayers, Dog Mom
Quiet stillness. Like something’s about to happen.
Oregon winter - a nonstop deluge of dreary grey skies. Downward dog days. Sometimes we slow down, go inside like nature intended. When fireplace is your closest friend.
Dog 'n cat curled up together in bed. The new 2-dog night after we lost our old dog besties - the basset brothers Dude and Elvis.
A year ago this week, we lost Dude in Snowmeggadon. Last winter was too much for him, the strong yet fragile one. It was all too much for the rest of us.
I can’t stop thinking about him now and how much I learned about plucky perseverance from his mighty dog soul, facing so many challenges in his 13.5 years (that's 95 for you dogs.)
Blind dog. Pirate surf dog. Cancer dog. Doggie Alzheimer’s. Grace and dignity. That was our Dude.
Double lap dog nights.
Tia and Doodle – burrowing under covers. Unwilling besties – not quite bffs, but it’s a start.
Same weight, 16 pounds each – she, the behemoth fatty catty and he, the doxie diminutive. Lion and lamb. Not sure who the lamb is….
Same overwhelming personality – no shrinking Violet’s here. Jockeying for, muscling out – Olympic trials for the best spot on her lap.
Oh that’s right – it’s me. My lap, my kiddos.
Doodle the doxie has a tumor on his head.
It came up, growing like a bad seed, out of nowhere, around Christmas. My deepest, Darkest Fear. We need to get that growth removed.
Remembering tumors of the past, the cancer and the surgeries. Why is it that dogs get sick, anyway? It's so not fair. I’m not ready for that yet.
No more medically fragile years for any of us, for a number of years, I hope. Doodle is a young dog.
OK, well, now that I think about it, he's technically middle aged - 45 in dog years. But don't tell him that. Or the part about the tumor, please.
HOOORAY for Doodle Day!!!
At the same time - saving grace - a raucous celebration! His 6th birthday – or really 6th anniversary of adoption day - tomorrow…. 1/22/12 was the big day.
Wow, I just did the math. Six years ago this week, I adopted Doodle. And a year ago this week, we lost Dude on 1/20/17.
What’s the saying... “when a door closes, a window opens.”
Speaking of windows - there they are. At the window, quail, hunting for seed left under the bird feeder in our Mosier front yard.
The fleeting quail family visit– so quick to arrive – so flighty. I can't live without them, but clearly they can take us or leave me.
Their visit is reassuring. Everything is OK. The coo announces their arrival – Big Man Quail Leader Dude, calling his tight knit family of 17.
They sneak in, under cover, materializing as if beamed up from the Starship Enterprise, from the few plants in the yard that still have leaves. They hurry, scurry, to their Leader Dude.
Selfishly, I leave seed where I can peak at them. They refuse to have their photo taken, try as I might for the last 10 years.
They commute the same paths, most every day from above our house through our yard, then off to the neighbor’s yard for another sneak peak viewing.
SUP dog days!
Fleeting friend sunshine comes out when you least expect her - HOOOOOORAYYY!!!!!
Load up the board, quick, let’s hit the river before Ma Nature changes her mind! Bundle up SUP pup; we’re in our warmest wetsuits and vests. Double leashes, just in case, though neither of us has any intention of falling in.
Savor and celebrate the gift – a quick slice of sun, ever elusive. Not like that place we used to live, where all you had was ridiculous sunshine. Maybe more upward dogs live there today? I can just hear my old San Diego friends snickering.
Here, water is 45, air maybe 50. At most. And that’s ridiculously warm for Oregon.
And still, we love her to the depths of our souls. Her raw nature, her forest majesty. Her small town experience. Old soul, Oregon.
Snow is MIA – whassup with that?
Seriously now – you’re missing Snowmeggadon today, too? No way! I’m afraid to say that out loud. We’re bruised after last winter’s storms, but be careful what you wish for.
Looks like spring green has come early – hills are not barren and brown - Hooray! But … pay now or pay later. Remember last fall’s Eagle Creek Fire. And the year before, a drought emergency.
As an Emergency Manager (aka Disaster Girl,) I worry about Ma Nature sometimes.
Remember the window. The undercover covey, sent in for the rescue.
No endless downward dogging allowed.