Summer Trip 2019

It’s summer time again and you know what that means! Another camping trip!

This summer my adventure will take me all around the Rocky Mountains. First, I will be staying in Estes Park, Colorado. Then I will head on over to Utah where I will get to check out the Flaming Gorge and Park City. Next, it’s up to Idaho where I will get to spend some time in the Sawtooth Mountains and Coeur d’Alene. Last, I will travel back east to Glacier National Park and then south to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks!

I get to adventure with so many of my favorite people and I can’t wait to experience all these beautiful places with them!

Check back tomorrow for the first bit of adventure!

Sophia and Gonzo are already in the car ready to go!

Foster Friday with Ruth

Name: Ruth aka Ruthie aka Ruthie Roo

Time in our care: 3 days

History: Ruth is an 11 year old black lab. She is blind and was picked up on the streets of Houston wandering around aimlessly. It’s clear she has been owned by someone because she wasn’t hurting for a meal 🤪 However, it was also clear she hadn’t been shown love in a long time, she had a horrible ear infection, so bad that it has caused her some permanent hearing loss. And her skin/fur was in such horrible shape and she had several areas all over her body that were furless. I suspect she spent the majority of her life in someone’s backyard and provided them with a few litters??? But no one can be for sure. Not at all what this sweet soul deserved. I had a very difficult time being around Ruth, at first, because I found myself constantly on the verge of full on ugly crying. She is the same age as Sophia. This made it especially hard because I know that for the past 11 years Sophie has had an exceptional life full of care, kindness and love. She has always had a warm bed to sleep in and so many hugs and kisses every single day. I don’t know how much of that Ruth ever really got and she is still just so happy. It shatters my heart to know that she will never get to hear anyone’s stupid dog-mom voice or see the love and appreciation in her owners’ eyes when they look at her. Humans failed Ruth for a very long time, I don’t understand how she can still be so happy to be around us. This goes back to what I truly believe; humans don’t deserve dogs or any animals really for that matter.

Adventure: Ruth lives in another dimension so her whole life is one amazing adventure.

Personality: While we didn’t get to know Ruth too well because we didn’t have her very long. We did learn that she loves food, loves belly rubs, has no problem maneuvering around, despite her blindness, and is the happiest pup ever. Her tail was constantly wagging. She didn’t let her old bones or lack of vision get in her way. Once she figured out you were close she would cuddle up next to you (slow fall onto you) so that you could give her a nice belly scratch. She would hop around at meal times in anticipation for her meal like a little puppy. 

Queen Sophia Rose and Gonzo’s thoughts: Both loved her. She didn’t bother either of them one bit and I don’t think they would have minded if we kept Ruth around indefinitely.

Funny story:

Ruth has a deep love of food and would get the most excited at meal time. She would tilt her head to the side in hope that it was what she expected; food. Then she would wag her tail a mile a minute as she happily ate her meal.

As mentioned above, Ruth is blind and can only hear really loud noises. So watching her walk around the house was always so cute. She puts her paws out far in front of her so that she can feel if there is a wall or object in her way. But this method didn’t work all that often, so she ran into a A LOT of walls and every time she did her tail would immediately start wagging, I’m not sure why but it was the cutest ever!

We left Ruth by herself a few times while we were out running errands. Upon our return she was always in the exact position we left her in. Not positive she realized we ever left.

It was 10 o’clock at night when I heard Taylor yelling my name in the backyard. He was outside helping Ruth get around the backyard and avoid falling in the pool. Well, things didn’t quite work out because I opened the door to a soaking wet Taylor and Ruth. Poor Ruth was terrified, and Taylor felt so terrible. Looking back it was rather comical, not so much at the time though.

I also can’t help but imagine what we must have looked like in our backyard when we took Ruth out to do her business. A big, rather slow moving silver muzzled black lab running into every piece of patio furniture while we both clapped our hands and hollered her name so that she could find the grass and avoid the pool!

Adopters: Ruth is still in foster care as she was only with us for the weekend while her foster family was camping. I will make sure to update this section once she gets adopted!

Love you Ruth and I hope that you get the life you always deserved. A comfortable house with humans who worship you and feed you really well!

Foster Friday with Heidi

Name: Heidi aka Heidi Ho aka Heids aka Heidi Girl aka Sophie (Since they looked so much alike at first glance and I, for the life of me, couldn’t call them their correct names, sorry Soph!)

Time in our care: 3 weeks

History: Heidi is 7 months old and was surrendered by her former owner to a local kill shelter. She was turned in for playing too rough with the other dog in her home. IDOG tagged her and picked her up almost immediately after she was surrendered. She didn’t even have to spend a night in the pound!

Adventure: Heidi didn’t really get to go on any real adventures. She did get to go on LOTS of walks though. She’s a puppy and verrrrrrry hyper; to put it lightly she has lots of energy to expend!

Personality: I’m completely in love with Miss Heidi. She reminds me so much of puppy Sophia and it has been really fun to have her in our house! It has also made me incredibly sad because we are quickly approaching Sophia’s 11th birthday, which is always a hard time of year for me. However, Sophie has been keeping up with little Heidi just fine which puts a big smile on my face!😊😊

Back to Heidi! She is so incredibly smart! She came to us knowing how to sit, shake, lay down and come. She is also house trained and spayed. Not quite sure why someone would put so much work into their dog only to surrender them to a kill shelter 🤷🏻Their loss, our gain!

Heidi is sweet, the best cuddler and a complete goofball. She’s a complete diva and has the gentlest heart. My niece, Bentley came to visit while Heidi was with us and Heidi was so great with her.

Heidi has such a true love of life and is one of the most positive dogs I have ever met. She doesn’t let anything get her down and is always excited about everything and everyone. She can put a smile on anyone’s face. She was such a joy to have in our home!

Queen Sophia Rose and Gonzo’s thoughts: Sophie gave her the typical silent treatment for the first two days and Gonzo was the sweetest as usual. Once her and Sophia started playing we realized they play in the exact same form so that was really fun to watch! Poor Gonzo doesn’t have the heart to tell anyone, “no”. So, we had to make sure that Heidi didn’t play with him too much and that he had time to rest. Luckily, she is really great with redirection and would happily play on her own!

Funny story:

As I mentioned above Heidi is quite the diva. It rained a lot while she was here and she did not like walking on wet grass. So all of her business was done on the concrete. That was fun to constantly keep clean.

Zoomies for days.

Yoga with Heidi. Always an interesting time.

Clumsy zoomies for days, constantly running into walls and doors in an attempt to get everywhere the fastest.

Her random ability to randomly jump extremely high!

How her sweet ears would always flip back!

Flying onto the bed in the morning for cuddles.

How it always took her atleast two redirections to do what we asked.

 

Adopters: Heidi now goes by Mosey May! She got adopted by the sweetest family in Austin. She will be living the sweet life with her new mom and dad and keeping them company where ever they go. She will get to spend some days working with her mom at Google and will even get a certified badge! She is so so so loved and finally has a home that she deserves. She was a hard one for me to let go but this couple made it so much easier. Knowing she is going to a home where she will be treated how I believe every dog should be treated!

We love you Heidi and are already missing your unmatched energy and positivity around the house!

Foster Friday with George

Name: George aka Georgie aka 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!