Swimming and Hiking and Sunbathing…Oh My!

Last week I was on vacation from work, but had no real plans other than to spend some quality time with the pups. The Mr. was traveling for work, so it was just Nola, Sarge and I for three days. I wanted to use this time to do some things with Nola just the two of us. I have been very conscious of her behavior and feelings (yes, I think my dog has feelings, call me an anthropomorphizer if you must) since Sarge has been in the house, and I wanted to make sure she got some special time with just me.

After Sarge’s morning walk and breakfast Nola and I headed out for our adventures. The first day we went to a friend’s camp on Little Sebago Lake, about 20 minutes from our house. Since it was during the work week and early(ish) in the morning, we had the place to ourselves. It was the perfect spot, a private home with a big yard leading down to a sandy area with a dock to the lake. Nola does the best in this kind of environment, she doesn’t like going in the water when she can’t walk in gradually. And, she LOVES to run around with her toy after she retrieved it out of the water. That day was no different, she ran around, swam after her Kong Wubba, and just went all around crazy having fun.
IMG_4537 IMG_4538 IMG_4535We ended up going back a couple days later and since we had been there already, Nola was more familiar with the territory and she was less interested in sniffing around and more into swimming after her Wubba. I used this to my advantage and tried to get her to actually jump off the dock. I have tried the past two summers to entice her to jump in after a toy, but she just has no interest. Most of the time she’ll run to the end of the dock, see the toy, and then turn around and run into the water after it.
IMG_4524 IMG_4531 IMG_4533Or, she’ll just stand there and stare at the toy.

You want me to do what?

You want me to do what?

This time, I was able to get her to jump in  from the end by throwing the toy and then jumping in myself. The water was only about chest deep, so I could just plop in and coax her to come too. Of course, using this method I was unable to get any actual photos of her jumping, but she did it, and I was so proud! I think if we had a place like this to go consistently she would eventually feel more comfortable jumping in without me.

Nola and I also went on a hike at Bradbury Mountain. It’s called a mountain, but really it’s just a large hill. I chose a trail that was about 2 miles long to go up to the summit. It was warm, but not humid, and the tress provided a lot of shade, so Nola wasn’t too hot. It was such a nice walk and we made it to the top pretty easily. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy exploring new places and just hanging out with my dog.
IMG_4489 nola_bradbury1nola_hikingShe is such a good leash walker, she never pulled me even coming down. I had a long line just in case she wanted to go a bit further in front, but she stayed right by my side. We chose a shorter trail on the way down because it was getting closer to mid day and the sun was hot!
IMG_4503We practiced some recall, and also ‘up’ by getting onto a bench that was on the side of the trail. She was very attentive, but at this point was getting annoyed with all the posing for the camera I was making her do.
nola_bradbury2IMG_4510And of course, I spent some time with the Sarge man too. He is less interested in the active adventures and just likes to hang out. So, we sunbathed and napped on the deck.
IMG_4550 IMG_4543Although this vacation was more of a stay-cation, I really enjoyed the quality time I got to spend with the pups. I was a little embarrassed when people at work asked what I did while I was off and I said “hung out with the dogs” and they replied “that’s it?”. But really, they are ‘it’ for me. They spend so much of their time alone, waiting for the Mr. and I to come home from work or wherever we happen to be, that I wanted to spend every moment I could with them for the week. They are my life and my loves and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Wordless Wednesday: Vacation Fun

nola_docknola_hikingIf you don’t already, make sure you follow us on Instagram @mrmrsnolakisses so you can see more photos like these! More on my vacation tomorrow!

Nola Muffin Monday: On Zeus, and Having Three Dogs

Let’s face it, I’m a picky dog. I generally TOLERATE all other dogs, LIKE a pretty good amount, but I only LOVE a select few (especially when they are living at MY house). So you can imagine my surprise that after only 4 days, I was well on my way to loving a new dog that my parents brought home. And no, it’s not my foster bro Sarge, I am still in the tolerate phase with him. My new buddy’s name is Zeus.
IMG_3972Last week, Mom picked me up from Camp and I took a snooze on the car ride home, just like I usually do. But when we got home, there was a strange black dog on the deck with Dad. Of course, I had to let him know that I did not approve of him being there with my patented half growl, half bark. All I could think was, ‘They brought home ANOTHER dog?!’ Mom told me to relax, he is jut visiting for a few days, and put on my harness so we could take a walk. The black dog and Dad came with us. When we walked next to each other and I got a whiff of him, I realized he wasn’t half bad. Dad said his name was Zeus and that I had to be nice to him because he is Dad’s boss’ dog. (Haven’t I heard that one before?).

Zeus seems like a big name for a small-ish dog, with a cat like, fluffy tail, but who am I to judge? Besides the fact that he stopped to pee on EVERYTHING (ghawd, why do boys feel the need to do that?), I enjoyed our walk very much. Mom and Dad let us play in the back yard too. He didn’t seem all that impressed with my play-bows and boxer moves, but he got with the program and at least let me chase him for a bit.
IMG_4014 IMG_4010He seemed a little scared in the house, maybe it was because he had never met us all before. Sargent picked on him a little and tried to hump him too, but Mom and Dad protected poor Zeus just like they do for me. I tried to tell him to just stay clear or the big lug, which he did, when he stole my spot on the couch. But Sargent wanted to sleep next to him, so they both shared my spot.
IMG_4037Eventually he got the hang of dealing with ol’ Sarge and they napped together quite a bit.
IMG_4020 IMG_4022Now let me just tell you, I like Zeus more than the average dog that Mom and Dad bring home, but with two ‘others’ in the house it felt a bit crowded. I tried to find a spot on the couch, but decided I needed my own space and slept on my bed.three dogs IMG_4017I stayed in the living room so I could keep an eye on everyone, but man, am I glad none of them tried to snuggle with me.
nola-bed-zeusOn Saturday Mom and Dad brought me and Zeus for a long walk on one of my favorite trails. Sargent got his own walk then stayed home because he’s too old and can’t keep up with us young-ins. For the first half of the walk Zeus just peed on everything and I stayed close to Mom and Dad. Then, I decided enough was enough and it was play time. We discovered a stream and found out it was fun to run through the mud and jump from bank to bank. When we got to the part where there is a big field, I showed Zeus my track star like speed. He couldn’t keep up, so I slowed down for him a little so he would still play. We were so tired when we got home.

IMG_3980While Zeus was at our house he slept all alone on the couch in the living room at bed time. Dad is still sleeping downstairs with Sargent, so I had the bed all to myself (oh, and Mom). But, Zeus was lonely so he wanted to come up on the bed too. I was ok with it, which doesn’t happen very often, so Mom let him come up and we all snuggled before it was time to get up. Before he left to go home to his family, I even let his snuggle with me…just a little.
IMG_4034I liked Zeus a lot, but am glad we are back to only having two dogs in the house. Two is still one too many. I do hope that Zeus can come back and play again soon, but only on a temporary basis!

(Now we just have to find a place for Sargent to go…)

Nola Muffin Monday: Rattlesnake Adventure

This weekend I got a text from my boss (from here on she’ll be referred to as BL-boss lady) asking if we wanted to go up to her lake house and go for a hike. At first I wasn’t sure because we had planned to take the pups down to the river. But, Laynie’s kennel cough flared up again Saturday and we thought it was best if she rested Sunday. So Nola and I were off to hike Rattlesnake Mountain with BL and her kiddos.

Two of the kids had met Nola while she was at work with me one Friday and couldn’t stop talking about her to BL. One of the ways I like to introduce kids to Nola is to have them make her sit and then give her treats. It’s a good way to keep Nola calm as well as show the kids that the she won’t hurt them and that they are in charge. BL’s kiddos were so impressed at Nola’s high five trick that we knew we had to get them together again so it was nice that this trip worked out.

Nola and I drove up to Raymond and met at BL’s lake house. We packed up the kids and drove about a mile down the road to Rattlesnake Mountain I decided to keep Nola on leash hike because I wasn’t sure what the leash rule was there, and when we showed up there were a bunch of little kids. I was glad I did because we passed a couple that said they had just seen a moose! We didn’t see any, but I’m not sure what Nola would have done if she saw a huge moose. She thinks all 4 legged animals want to play, and ones that big with hooves could have spelled disaster.

Nola did great the whole way up, she didn’t pull at all. The kiddos took turn holding the leash on the parts that weren’t too steep. We made it all the way to the top and enjoyed the view of Panther pond and Crescent Lake.

When we got back to the lake house we all ate lunch and hung out on the dock. Nola took a swim and chased stick the kids threw for her. It was a great afternoon and I had one tired puppy when we got home.