Sunday, August 14, 2011

We're Baaaaaaack!

Thursday evening we headed out to the Mt. Hood area for the annual family reunion/camp out with Adam's extended family. We were smart this year and rented one of their little rustic cabins, instead of tent camping in one of their "tent sites" that consisted of dirt and gravel, but mostly gravel. The dogs were happier and more comfortable, as were we. The other huge plus this year was that the temperatures weren't so ridiculously hot that doing anything involving physical exertion was only possibly before dawn or after midnight. Heffner was VERY happy about this! Last year was positively miserable. Between the crappy camp site and the miserable weather, it was not an enjoyable camping trip.

We got all settled into our little rustic cabin on Thursday evening (didn't manage to snap a picture, sorry!), did a little visiting with the family members who were over in the tent/trailer camping area, and then hit the hay. The first night is usually always a little rough for at least the danes. There's all these odd sounds, they're sleeping on beds that aren't their normal ones, and they're keyed up with all the possibilities that a new place holds. As the wee hours of the morning were approaching, they got up multiple times to encourage Adam and I to get up and do something with them. Adam being the "delicate" sleeper that he is, was fully woken up each time they did this and had a hard time falling back to sleep. Finally at 8am I gave in and took the danes out for a potty walk while Adam took Ruthie. The danes were fired up and ready to create some havoc, but did mange to do their business without entirely driving me batty hanging on to both of them. After feeding them all and letting breakfast settle, Adam headed to main family camp area with Ruthie and I headed out with the danes to attempt to take the edge off their energy stores. The weather was really nice and we had a quite enjoyable time walking all over the place. We hiked about for about an hour (all on leash, and wasn't that a treat!) and then headed back to the cabin. The weather was warming up enough that it helped to take the initial edge off the big dogs. I let them take a bit of a nap, so that I could go visit.

After making the rounds, I gathered up Adam and we collected up the danes to go do some swimming up at Clear Lake. I've never actually been to the lake when the area isn't covered in snow! It's a really nice area with some very rough camping, which I really like! We only explored a portion of the lake, but did have some fun using the 4-wheel drive! After picking a spot that was within a good walking distance of the lake, we unloaded. Bess was WIRED! She spent a great deal of the time we were there just ripping up and down the beach. Someone doesn't do so well with being cooped up! While I'm always hopeful that one of these days she just decide to try swimming, I'm pretty much resigned to having one water loving dane in the house. She didn't wade in very far this time either, but Heffner enjoyed himself!

I LOVE swimming with my boy!!
After our fun outing, the danes had been pretty appropriately exorcised and were content to just chill in the cabin. Since Ruthie had been left behind, it was her turn for a fun little outing! I wanted to see if maybe I was going to have a second water loving dog. I bought her a life vest a little while ago and was excited to try it out on her and see what she thought. The Salmon River runs close to the RV Resort (yes we were "camping" in an RV Resort) that we were staying at and there was a section of it that was great for swimming in. I headed in that direction for a little water introduction with the Mighty Midget. The path is a bit like a hiking trail and this is what Ruthie thought of the whole great outdoors experience!
She loves people, but she's not overly fond of "being one with nature.";0) We got down to the beach and I let her sniff around a little bit to see if she was going to explore the water on her own and what she would think of it.

After a bit I put her life vest on her to see what she thought. What do you think?
Not terribly impressed and also not that willing to move with it on, I decided to pick her up and put her in some of the shallow water to see what she thought. First, she wasn't terribly impressed by how wet it was.

I did get her out into some deeper water where she had to swim. While she was exactly thrilled and seeking out the deeper water, she also didn't freak out or start frantically swimming to shore. And once on shore, she didn't take off away from the water. I would have to say that her reaction to swimming was mostly one of it being more effort than she really cared to put in.
Who knows, maybe with some continued gentle introductions to swimming (preferably when there aren't giants galumphing about) she could learn to actually enjoy it! For now, we are definitely a one water loving dog household.

Later on that evening, Bess got to run around on the same shore with Kona, Adam's aunt Kathy's viszla puppy! They both had a blast! That little guy was a total red blur! I'm not quite sure that Bess knew what to do with something that small and fast.

Saturday was a pretty kicked back day. We had done plenty on Friday and I was more than happy to mostly chill. I did take the big dogs out and about for an hour and Ruthie got to hang out at the main family camp. Other than that, we were pretty content to chill. Adam and I headed back in to Portland that evening for a kickball game. Our team captain put together some theme songs for all of us that were absolutely hilarious and right on!! We ended the game with a pretty resounding win.

Then this morning we slept a bit later than expected and got up in time to pack everything up and check out. We've now got tons of laundry going, everything is unpacked, and I am settling in for some relaxing though the danes are eyeing me for some exercise. We'll see what comes of that.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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