Foster Friday with George

Name: George aka Georgie ake Georgie Porgie Puddin’ and Pie

Time in our care: 5 weeks

Age: about 2 years old

How George ended up with us: Maria (Executive Director of IDOG) posted a picture of George saying he needed a miracle, he was set to be euthanized that night unless an adopter or rescue could pull him. We were pretty late getting to the post but were able to get it all worked out. Taylor was at the Liberty County shelter at 6 AM the next morning saving sweet George’s life! On a side note, there are roughly 1 million homeless pets in Houston and everyday hundreds are euthanized due to overcrowding. These are sad statistics for sure. This is why it is so incredibly important to spay and neuter your pets and to choose adoption whenever possible! #adoptdontshop

Adventure: George’s first adventure was a day at work with Taylor! It was interspersed with a visit to the vet and a quick stop at the dog wash to get that shelter smell off of him!

George’s next adventure was a trip down to Galveston to romp around in the ocean waves and to meet Astro (now Luke!)

George’s trip through our closed back door (thanks for leading the way Snacks!) and the resulting ER visit and 5 staples that followed!

George also had a pretty epic adventure to his forever home! More on that in a minute!

Personality: Goofball! Taylor and I were constantly laughing at everything George did! Such a clumsy guy! He also has such a sweet, kind guy! He’s a great cuddler and will just melt right into your arms. He lives for belly rubs and loves to chew on any and everything! While we had George the weather was pretty fantastic, cool temps but sunny skies, George absolutely loved being out and would spend much of his time with Gonzo just sniffing around the backyard and pretending to be the best guard our neighborhood has ever seen! George, your eyes are so soulful, we could never tell you no and you deserve the absolute best!

Queen Sophia Rose and Gonzo’s thoughts: Both Sophie and G-Money got along great with George. Sophie took awhile to warm up and would bark excessively at George whenever he was first playing with her. #funpolice But eventually she learned to love him, hair pulling and all! He also cuddled up with Gonzo Every. Single. Night. in Gonzo’s bed. Gonzo was thrilled.

Funny story: Everyday with George was a funny story. He is right up there with Dexter and Briggs for funniest dogs we’ve ever fostered! Here are just a few of our favorite memories:

Mohawks

Scratching his ear and then accidentally doing a backwards somersault!

Tripping and falling all over his paws even though he is two and not a 3 month old puppy!

Melting into us for belly scratches!

Facial expressions!

Cone head for Christmas!

Falling asleep well standing!

When he pretended to be an elf for Christmas!

Donut tosses!

Adopters: We have had a lot of really fantastic people adopt our foster dogs and the trend continued on with George. Remember how I mentioned his big adventure to his forever home? Well… George now lives in beautiful Northern Utah! His new momma and her daughter flew down one weekend to get him and then they rented a car to drive him all the way home! She even came to our house bearing treats and toys for Sophia and Gonzo! From our very first conversation, I knew that George and his new mom were meant to be! She and her family are such a dog lovers! They treat their dogs like all pups deserve to be treated! George gets to go hiking in the mountains, she will appreciate and take care of him in every stage of his life AND he has already got to play in the snow! Check out the video below! He landed the perfect forever home. Heck, I wish they would have adopted me!

George, we feel so lucky to have been a part of your journey. You are so special to us. We miss you everyday but know that your are where you are meant to be! Love you!

#84 – I know I’m going with an easy one today but, I’m so grateful for all our amazing adopters. It makes fostering 1 million times easier when you know the home they are going to is absolutely perfect for them!

Foster Friday with Farrah

Name: Farrah

Time in our care: 2 weeks

Age: about 1.5 years old

How Farrah ended up with us: Farrah was an owner rehome. When we saw a post on this beautiful girl, we couldn’t pass her up!

Adventure: No big adventures with little Farrah. Just lots of walks around the neighborhood!

Personality: Farrah is one of the most beautiful blonds I’ve ever seen. She was a complete angel – great with all dogs, soft as could be, had all her basic commands down and never once went potty in the house. She was an absolute joy having in our home and was the best cuddler, she thought she was a lap dog. And while she was shorter than Gonzo and Sophia, she still was not lap dog size! But that didn’t stop her from trying!

Queen Sophia Rose and Gonzo’s thoughts: Sophie hated her. I don’t think Sophie enjoys having a gorgeous, younger blond in the house. Queenie was not impressed. Gonzo and her got along great, per usual. I think it’s safe to assume that this section will always say that Gonzo got along great with our foster. He is so perfect.

Funny story: How she would always try to sneakily climb into the bed.

How she would ride on the floor boards in the car. Girlfriend! Stick you head out the window!

How she would always look so guilty but, she never once did something wrong!

Adopters: Farrah was adopted by a great little family in the area. She has a brother who is similar in age. They immediately hit it off! She also has two human siblings whom love her very much. Whenever we took her on walks, she would only pull when she saw kids. She absolutely loves them, and I am so glad she landed a family with two sweet little kids who love her! Her parents are great and love her very much. She is a lucky girl who deserves all the love in the world!

#83 – For the past several months I have been consistently active. Running and CrossFit-ing again. I have so enjoyed being back in a routine and am beyond grateful for having a body that allows me to. Looking forward to what 2019 holds!

Foster Friday with Evie

Name: Evie aka E.V.E aka Easy E

Time in our care: 2 weeks

Age: about 1 year

How Evie ended up with us: We saw a post about a beautiful chocolate lab needing foster care for 2 weeks while she waited for transport to Denver, Colorado! And who can pass up an adorable chocolate lab?

Adventure: No big adventures with Ms. Evie since I had just gotten home from my big summer trip to Michigan (yes, this post is about 5 months late). We just cuddled a lot, romped around in the backyard and took an accidental swim in the pool!

Personality: Easy E lived up to her name being one of the easiest dogs we have ever fostered. She would melt into the ground when you would pet her, and I don’t think she ever once did something wrong. She was an angel and Taylor was the light of her life. She followed him around everywhereeeee! We also worked a lot with Evie on being brave. She was shy and hesitant about so many things in the beginning and it was so good to see her come more and more out of her shell as each day passed!

Queen Sophia Rose and Gonzo’s thoughts: Sophie was indifferent; typical. Poor Evie wanted Sophie to like her so much 😦 Gonzo and Evie were the absolute cutest together. Boyfriend and Girlfriend for life, two short little chocolates in love! They were seriously adorable together.

Funny story: All of her sleeping positions – see below. Such a lady!

Adopters: Evie was adopted by a wonderful family in Denver, Colorado through Mile High Labrador Retriever Mission Rescue! An awesome organization, they save HUNDREDS of labs from Houston every year and bring them to their happy endings and forever families in Colorado!

#82 – Grateful I made it through to the Friday morning of Christmas break! So happy my sister in law is here to stay with us over the holiday with her sweet puppy Snacks! Grateful to have a house full of four perfect dogs! So excited to be able to head up to Michigan soon to see my family and precious Bentley! These next 2 weeks are going to be so perfect! Happy Holidays all!!

The Ozarks

The extent of my knowledge concerning The Ozarks is all based on the Netflix show. Sooooo when Taylor suggested taking a detour through Arkansas I was game!

Our first stop, per Taylor’s demand, was Lambert’s! The home of the throwed rolls! Taylor told me all about this place and boy it was a fun place to have lunch! Ridiculously large portions and a great atmosphere. The servers walk around the whole time throwing rolls and giving out different, delicious sides on top of the meal you’ve already ordered! Crazy! Sure is an experience!

After Lambert’s we traveled to our campground, Shady Oaks Campground & RV Park, right in the middle of the Buffalo National River area.

After setting up the camper we made our way straight down to the river at Pruitt Landing! Thanks to our camp host for suggesting this special place.

Taylor and I spent the rest of the afternoon swimming around in the river with the dogs and laying on the shore! It was so much fun swimming in the clear water! Buffalo River is one of the only three national rivers in the U.S.!

That night we went to Brick Oven, a local brewery for dinner! Good food and good drinks!

The next morning we woke up early and made our way up to the most photographed place in all of Arkansas; Whitaker’s Point!

The hike in was longer than I expected and HOT! Thank goodness we brought a lot of water and got there early! We met a ton of people along the way and the views were exceptional! I love when mountains are completely covered in trees for as far as the eye can see!

So what do you think, does it make sense that this is the most photographed place?

#82 – Thanks Taylor for suggesting this detour! Perfect way to break up our long trip home! Can’t wait to go back to The Ozarks!

#83 – A safe journey back home.

#84 – For a great start to the school year! Year 10 here I come!

#85 – For another great summer trip in the books! I’m beyond grateful that my life circumstance allows me to do this!

Sunsets & Our Last Night

My last night in Michigan came way too fast. For the special night we decided to drive up to Eagle River and have dinner at The Fitz.

The Fitz is a tiny little restaurant, with delicious food, right on Lake Superior! A perfect place to watch sunset and have your last dinner in Michigan! Make reservations, because of its small size it’s the only way to get a seat.

After dinner we skipped rocks on the glass-like lake and watched my final sunset over the lake! A perfect final evening.

Also, speaking of sunsets I made sure to take a picture of every sunset I could while I was in Michigan. Here’s my compilation! Enjoy, I know I sure tried to! Which one is your favorite?

#81 – Incredibly grateful for each and every sunset. And the memory that each one holds.

Mt. Arvon & Slate River

After living the majority of my life in Michigan I figured it was time to visit Michigan’s highest peak; Mt. Arvon!

Turns out it doesn’t actually count as an actual mountain because technically a mountain has to have a peak over 2,000 ft above sea level and Arvon falls 21 ft short. I know Michigan doesn’t have the highest peaks but it doesn’t make me love it any less.

It was a surprisingly long drive up to the peak. Once we got to the top Taylor and I spent quite a bit of time at the top looking around and signing the guest log! The view from the top was pretty perfect!

We actually ran into the company that owns the peak, they are planning on installing wind turbines along one side of the mountain to generate cheaper electricity for the area. And were up there scoping everything out. They said it was a wonderful thing for the area but the “Say No to Turbines” signs in everyone’s front yard said something different. After further research turns out the low frequency they produce is pretty harmful to people that live by them and they severely disrupt migration patterns.

On our way back to camp Taylor and I took a detour along Slate River. We came across several little waterfalls! We got out and played in the river a whole bunch of different times! There were a few families camped out along the river or swimming in the different swimming holes! It was so much fun because the bottom of the river was all slate so we could easily walk and climb around on everything! My favorite part was seeing my puppies splash and jump all around!

We also made a quick stop at Canyon Falls with the intention of cliff jumping but Taylor got a little scared and didn’t trust that I knew what I was talking about. So no jumping! But it was pretty to look at!

It was a day well spent!

#77 – Grateful to live in a country where we are free to voice our opinions. Whether it be against wind turbines or other things.

#78 – Oreo thins!

#79 – How unexpectantly awesome Slate River was! Definitely want to explore his area more!

#80 – For private land owners sharing their property with the public so even more people can appreciate all the beauty this world has to offer.

Quincy Mine & Black Creek

As many times as I have been to the Houghton/Hancock area of the Keweenaw Peninsula I have yet to take a tour of one of its most prominent features, one of the reasons why these towns even exist – the Quincy Copper Mine!

Quincy Mine is really incredible. It is a series of 7 shafts with the deepest shaft, No. 2, teaching down 92 levels. Which is over 9,000 feet deep! The mine was open for about 100 years and turned a profit for over 60! It was the main provider of copper during WWII and Quincy copper can be found all of over the world to this day. The shafts all run, at a 55 degree angle, along the Pewabic fissure. The reason why the Keweenaw has Michigan’s highest peaks!

Quincy Mine’s claim to fame is their steam hoist. It is the largest in the world poured onto the largest slab of concrete in the world. The steam hoist is what brought the miners, copper and water up and down into the mine. Learning about this operation and just how much time it took to bring things back and forth, about all the safety protocols and about how the whole operation ran was so interesting.

Being a miner was unbelievably difficult and the conditions, even as the Industrial Age brought in lots of improvement, was still hard to hear about. The mine was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for decades. The constant humming of the engines could be heard throughout the peninsula. The miners worked 12 hour shifts and it took them upwards of an hour just to get to their position in the mine.

This tour is a must! It started off with a self guided tour of the main mine shaft, No. 2. We got to see the cars the miners rode in and how the copper rocks were all separated.

Then we moved into the steam hoist house where we watched a short video about the history. Our guide was a sweet, local woman. She showed us all around the steam hoist.

After that we got our hard hats and coats on and loaded up onto the cog train.

Instead of entering the mine how the miners did we took the train down the hill where we then loaded up on a trolly. This entrance is along the 7th floor and goes straight into the side of the hill. It was formerly used for ground water drainage and is the reason why we can even enter the mine today. All the floors beneath it are submerged.

Michigan Tech University expanded the drainage entrance when they were using the mine as a lab for their mining students. Check out the classroom! So cool!

We spent about 30 minutes in the freezing mine learning about all the different mining methods and we got to see where big swaths of rock were removed because it was speckled with copper.

It was a great day and our guide in the tunnel was very knowledgeable!

Later that evening, around sunset, Taylor and I decided to take a hike in Black Creek Nature Sanctuary.

We didn’t know what to expect, especially since the trail was a little over grown and I had the fear of ticks on my mind. But the payoff was worth it!

The end of the trail popped out along the Lake Superior shoreline! The sunset was beautiful and we were the only ones around. We spent a long while playing in the water and the dogs more than enjoyed themselves! It was perfectly peaceful, I could have spent forever in that spot!

We loved it so much that on the way back we looked at a few pieces of property! I think we figured out our future plans… absolutely magical!

#71 – Feeling gratitude for all the miners, hundreds lost their lives over the years. Also, mining is the reason my maternal great grandparents came to Michigan!

#72 – For perfect evenings with my three favorite beings on this planet. My emotions about most things are typically pretty weak. There isn’t too much I actually care a whole lot about, especially for an extended period of time, even though sometimes it may appear differently. At the end of the day, there are few things that will elicit a strong emotion from me; Taylor, Sophie and Gonzo are on the short list.

#73 – For our future.

#74 – For pristine Lake Superior.

#75 – For perfect sunsets.

#76 – For Saturday morning cuddles in bed with my crew!

Portage Canal

We rented a boat for the day! Best decision! We loaded up early in the morning; Kati, Adam, Taylor, all 5 puppies and I for a fun filled day!

We rented our boat through M&M Powersports, a company in Hancock! It was a brand new, beautiful, clean pontoon and we got it for 8 hours for a very reasonable price! And best of all we were trusted enough to take it anywhere in the canal (yellow star to red star)!

Our first stop was west towards The Breakers (yellow star). As we made our way west it started to get cloudy and it was looking like it was going to rain. As we neared the lighthouse the water was so choppy and I was getting nervous. I thought our boat day was going to be over before it really even started 😦

After we nabbed a quick picture of the light house we drove back into the canal where the water was smoother but we still had heavy cloud cover and that continued as we made our way through the whole canal and out to the other side. As we cruised through we got to admire all the beautiful houses, landscapes and wildlife. We ended up seeing 5 bald eagles! Thanks to Adam who pointed them all out!

Our goal was to make it to the only swimmable beach along the canal (red star)! Because of the flood earlier in the month several of the beaches were still not safe for swimming.

Once again the water got choppy as we made our way out of the canal, around the lighthouse and towards the beach. We made it safely to shore where we beached the pontoon and hopped out (into the freezing water) we started to pay fetch with the pups!

Gonzo was living his best life running up and down the beach and jumping the waves! Sophie romped around on the beach with her twin! Adam taught me how to skip rocks! I had never been able to do it before! And we all took turns seeing how long we could stand in the freezing water!

We spent a hour or two at the beach playing around! The sun came back out as we were packing up to leave and the temperature skyrocketed!

As we headed back into the canal Taylor decided to take a detour over to the cliffs! The water suddenly turned crystal clear and we all took turns jumping off the back of the boat into the breathtakingly cold water! It was the best part of the day and Adam even swam over to the cliff! So cool! And we could see all the way to the bottom of the lake! We couldn’t get over the water!

The rest of the day we just cruised around the canal and stopped a few times to let Adam fish (white star). The dogs were perfect and we had a snoozing pup pile up by mid afternoon!

Also! Confession! I ate a whole bag of Lays chips in the All Dressed flavor. Apparently, the flavor is a Canadian thing and Wow! It’s amazing — BBQ, vinegar, salt! A must try if you are in Canada or any bordering state! Yum!

#66 – That All Dressed chips aren’t available in Texas! I’d likely have an extra 20 lbs on me if they were!

#67 – That I was able to have this memorable experience with some of my favorite people!

#68 – For the courage it took to jump off the back of the boat! I don’t mind the jumping part, it was the 40 degree water that I’d have to get out of that was the issue! My lungs just clench up and I forget how to swim! So scary!

#69 – For our little lifeguard Gonzo, he had to jump into the water after each of us to make sure we were okay! He was shaking by the end because it was so cold! Thanks G! Even though I think it may have been a selfish act since I know how much you love to swim!

#70 – For the rain holding off and the sky clearing up! It ended up being a perfect Michigan summer day out on the water!

Bare Bluff, Montreal Falls & Copper Harbor

And now we are entering into the favorite part of my trip! The part where Taylor joins us! Yay!

Taylor flew in late on the 5th and we hit the ground running early the next morning! I had been saving some of my favorite destinations and adventures for when he got here!

Up first was Bare Bluff which I knew little about. It was Kati’s idea and I didn’t know what to expect.

After about a 30 minute drive up the east side of the peninsula we arrived at a private dirt road. About 15 minutes down the dirt road we were in a parking lot and meeting up with Kati and Adam’s friends and their dogs!

We looked like quite the crew on this day – 6 humans and 7 dogs. Whom might I add were all incredibly well behaved the entire hike, minus one little incident which I will tell you about soon! *cough* Sophie Rose *cough*

The hike to Bare Bluff was peaceful, gorgeous and a moderate difficulty through the woods. The views from the top were some of what I believe to be the best in the Keweenaw! A must see in my opinion!

We didn’t hike the whole loop as we had a packed day and still wanted to hike to Montreal Falls.

Montreal Falls is located about 15 minutes beyond the Bare Bluff parking lot down that same private dirt road. Where the dirt road ends the trail begins!

The hike is an easy 1.5 miles in along the coast of Lake Superior. It took awhile because we kept stopping to stare at the perfectly clear water!

This is also where our hike got interesting. I was at the back of the line and all of a sudden I here everyone yelling NO! and Sophie’s name. I ran up to where they were all gathered to see my queen 30 feet below me walking around in Lake Superior. She had jumped/ran over the edge because she wanted to play in the water. Well Coal and Chumlee then decided to follow her! Once they all decided they were done playing in the water, Coal and Chumlee were able to scale back up the slightly angled drop off but Grandma Sophia wasn’t even planning on attempting it. Taylor had to find another entry point down to the cove and carry her back up with some help of all the other guys! I swear! She is something else!

After that the hike was nothing short of perfect! The views were great and the end of the trail popped out at a great little beach right next to the falls!

The pups and boys all swam around for a bit and then we went to go play around on the Falls! The water was the perfect temperature and we all had a blast jumping around from rock to rock and splashing in the water. I of course fell and bruised my bum and back pretty badly. But nothing out of the ordinary at this point 🙄 We were all living our best life this day! Also, Taylor loves to drink Lake Superior water and tell everyone how delicious it is 😂

After about an hour later we headed out to go get some lunch.

Taylor and I decided to go get ours up in Copper Harbor since he had never been! We had a delicious lunch at The Mariner, they have a little bit of everything and it was all delicious!

Also, check out this funny sign in Copper Harbor. Hwy 41 starts at the tip top of the Keweenaw and ends in Miami! Pretty cool! This picture is even better to capture in the winter! With feet of snow surrounding it!

After lunch we drove up Brockway Mountain to check out the views and they did not disappoint! It was quite windy as evidenced in my picture below!

We headed home along the west side of the peninsula and stopped at every waterfall along the way! And obviously we had to stop at the Dairy Bar in Ahmeek! Yum!

A perfect day!

#62 – That Taylor made it safely up to see me and that he was able to get time off to come join me!

#63 – That Sophie was okay! When she decided to go for a swim!

#64 – That there are so many beautiful places in the world still left to see!

#65 – I’m always just thankful for a good day outside with good company!

The Porkies & Chassel Strawberry Fest

Now that my trip has been over for almost 2 months and I’ve had Taylor remind me everyday for those last 2 months that I need to finish up blogging about my trip. I figured I should probably finish up my last couple of post about my perfect trip in the Upper Peninsula!

I left off on July 3rd which now means you get to find out how I spent my day celebrating America’s birthday!

Kati had the whole day off so we left early and made our way to the Porcupine Mountains (The Porkies!) which is about 1.5 hours from where I was camping. The drive in was gorgeous!

Our first order of business was taking a picture by the sign. Well that turned out to be a terrible idea because the black flies were terrible and the next thing I knew I was covered in hundreds (not exaggerating) of black flies and they were all biting me. We ran screaming and yelling back to the car! I’m getting itching and having flashbacks just writing about it! We hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come!

We made it into the park and stopped at the visitor center because we wanted to grab a souvenir shirt! They didn’t have any we liked but suggested we check out the Outpost which was on our way to Lake of the Clouds.

We picked up some cool gear – matching sweatshirts and some stickers and then made our way up to check out the lake!

We had seen many pictures of Lake of the Clouds so we couldn’t wait to see it in person and let me tell you: pictures do it no justice!

We looked a little bit like a shit show walking around though; the two of us and four dogs. Everyone commented on our pack which was acting extra disorderly. One lady even commented: I love that doodles don’t shed but I could never get one because they aren’t very cute. SOMEONE HOLD ME BACK! Aren’t cute?? I thought it was the collective opinion of the world that doodles are synonymous with cute! 🙄🙄 Maybe not the best behaved but defiantly cute!

We stared at the lake for a bit and checked it out from all the viewpoints.

At one of the outlooks we even saw a bald eagle soaring above us, seriously does it get any more American than that?

Once we were finished at the Lake of the Clouds we made our way to the other side of the park where we were actually going to do some hiking. On the East and West River Trails!

Welllll while we were driving to the other side, the clouds moved in and it was starting to look like rain. We decided to head out anyway because a little rain couldn’t hurt!

Hahahha little did we know.

It was an absolute downpour for the entire TWO hour hike. Thank goodness the views were still stunning and Kati and I were able to find the humor in our drowned rat status!

We saw beautiful waterfalls and got to walk along the beautiful rushing river the whole time! It really was a great hike despite our circumstance!

Thank goodness for our new sweatshirts otherwise we would have frozen on the ride home! A 1.5 hour ride home with 4 wet dogs! Need I say how enjoyable and smelly that was!! Hahahahhaha Happy Birthday America!

The following day, after Kati got out of work we headed to the Strawberry Festival in Chassel! We had the most delicious strawberry shortcake! Got to people watch, look at the lake and had the best time walking around the different vendor booths!

I found some of my most favorite Michigan souvenirs to date!

An awesome succulent terrarium where the base has been made out of driftwood from Lake Superior beaches. A great little ornament, the sweetest old man handcrafted!

And then my favorite of all! My 3 new pendants.

The first is made from Lake Superior Agate. Classis Michigan.

The second is made from a brick from the smelting factory in Hancock. This is the plant where all the copper in the Keweenaw was melted down, poured into copper molds to form copper ingots so that they could be shipped out all over the world. So cool to know I get to hold onto a little piece of that history.

The last pendant is made from Detroit Agate. Maybe my favorite of all. If you don’t know Michigan has a deep, deep history in not only timber and mining but, also in the automobile industry. Detroit Agate is made from the layers upon layers upon layers of hardened paint from the floor automobile painting rooms. You can see each layer of color. Our particular pieces were made from the Corvette factory! Seriously we spent an hour talking to this guy about the history of it all and it was an hour well spent.

#56 – I’m beyond grateful and proud to be from Michigan. I will move back one day. It is such a hidden treasure and has such a great history. Ever want to know more? I could go on and on. Just ask!

#57 – For our safety on our July 4th hike. Hindsight is telling me it wasn’t wise to be out hiking in such conditions, especially when most of it was along an edge overlooking the river.

#58 – For the sense of humor my sister and I brought to this day. It could have been a day that was easy chalked up as being ruined.

#59 – To our amazing (and cute!) puppy dogs, even to you Chumlee who cried and tried to jump into your mom’s arms for 10 minutes straight!

#60 – For having enough time to just sit down and talk with strangers.

#61 – To Kati for spending so much of her time with me this summer! Love you! Miss you, more than you know 😢