Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not always a successful mix: Summer Weather and Summer Fun

Summer in Maine has been mild and wet, to say the least. Yesterday we had an 80 degree day, but that was something different. Unlike many hot Maine days, the humidity was not a huge issue. And again, the possibility of rain showers loomed over the whole day... thunder showers possible. I am not a big fan of summer... not in Maine or anywhere the temp gets above 60. I hate heat. I have air conditioners. This old house my apartment is in was build in the mid 1800s, and the insulation is still poor I don't care what the landlord says. Summer without an air conditioner in this building is inhumane. When I am hot, I have absolutely no energy. At least A/C can provide an escape from the heat, thus enabling me to muster energy to do things like errands, taking Rosie out for a romp etc. Truth be known, I really need to get the courage up to work towards getting a driver's license and a car. Then I could take Rosie all over to hike and swim to her little heart's content (and mine).

My only savior this summer has been my friend Page. However, she is not as inspired as I am to get her dogs out and moving as I am so the motivation factor is a big issue. When we do get out to do something, I am eternally grateful, and I know Rosie is too. During these outings, a camera is ALWAYS present. We might get a photo of Rosie working, but most often, we get photos of her playing (in a serious, very focussed border collie way), or just looking beautiful! I am happy to say that so far this summer Page has filled her van and taken us to some memorable places. Her 2 dogs (Elderly Sofian and Chloe the Puggle and Rosie's bestest friend) and sometimes a child or four (she has 2 young teens and they often bring friends) pile in and off we go to the beach somewhere. Or we pile the dogs in and head off to the City Forest (don't let the name fool you, this forest covers hundreds of acres and is well outside urban lines. It is nothing like a Central Park... just a forest that is well maintained for foot traffic of varying abilities) or Saxl Park (which is a big field). We have walked in Rain, terrential downpours, sun and in thunderstorms, heavy wind storms (trees fell in many places the last one we walked in) and on just plain dull overcast days, or a mix of them all. (The same applies in the winter, only snow and sleet are added.)

Anyway, as my healthcare providers have diminished due to budget cuts or due to the services Rosie provides for me, I have less and less reason to leave the house and let Rosie get some public access work under her vest. All though I do fit in some training during our fun roadtrips, I also like to be invited on my friend's shopping errands (and other errands) even if I have absolutely no money to spend. This assures me that Rosie still knows how to work appropriately in the public.

Other things I do to help keep Rosie stimulated enough this summer are: packing her orange cones and treats up and go down to the riverfront field to do some training exercises, Rally type activities, as well as play with her tennis ball (and chuck-it thrower) and frisbee. I take lots of water for her as she easily over-exerts herself and over- heats without. If it is really hot, I will pack up and take her for a dunk in the river under the bridge. No swimming allowed as the current is too strong for her skinny 35 pound body. I take her for long walks around the neighborhood, and I also have an agility-type set up on the back "deck" (which is actually a flat roof for the apartment below.) Inside on really cruddy days I will think up some game to teach her and we do those (just like the commercial break trick training we do in the winter.)

I guess what I am gradually making my way towards is this: Here are some summer fun photos for you to enjoy (and some summer work photos too)! Service Dogs don't just work, and Border Collies ALWAYS need to play too!

A Rainy Day Walk in the City Forest, Bangor, Maine

Page took these shots of the dogs in the little field while I went out to check the Lupine.

top left- This picture of me walking in to check the Lupine was just before the terrential down-pour. We were prepared for a little rain and drizzle, maybe some thunder, but not a down pour! top right- Page poses in the rain with the dogs near.

Top left-I think this is chickory, but it is a very wet one! Top right- Night Shade.

Top left- Rosie takes a wet pose on a rock for treats. Top Right- I had to do wierd things to this photo to make the rainbow more visible.

Grand Lake Stream, Hike on Little Mayberry Cove Trail Trip #1

July 6th, 2009- This was late in the day, and it was a bit overcast. That is the reason why there are not a lot of photos from this trip. I did take some nice moon shots though. As you can see, my flash was needed in some of these photos. Top Right: Rosie modeling her new bandana I made her.

7/6- Rosie the trail blazer on her Planet Dog zip leash which is totally awesome! Page takes a picture of Rosie and me (camera at ready) on the trail.

Rosie takes a sniff of a large pile of moose scat. I suppose it is not really a large pile compared to other piles of moose crap. On the right- 3 anglers fish beyond the dam as the almost full moon rises. Page took this picture as my camera just wouldn't cooperate.
Sandy Point Beach Trip #1

June 25th, 2009 Sandy Point Beach, Stockton Springs, Maine- This was a nice day that kept getting a strange fog move in... it is also Rosie's first time out in her new life jacket, left top photo- Rosie out to sea! Top right photo- Rosie swims to the bar that at high tide it is nearly cut off from the main land. Since the very high tide cut down on beach space, we spend most of the afternoon right here on this bar with the dogs who acted like the water was an electrified fence til the tide dropped more.

Rosie models her new MTI life jacket in the top left; Rosie exits the water with her retrieving bumper.

Top left- Rosie models on a log. You can see where the bar ends here. Top right- Rosie waiting for me to throw her bumper or she is leaving the water. (Water is not for fun!)

Donnell Pond in Sullivan, Maine

Top left- Rosie and "Mommy" model infront of Donnell Pond... notice I am wearing my rain hat. Top Right- Rosie running down the beach

Top left- Rosie comes to shore with her bumper and on the right she is telling me it is time to throw it already!

July 18th, 2009- Donnell Pond, Sullivan, Maine (Downeast); It was a very drizzly, raining gray day and the beach was totally devoid of other people. That was great! Page had her son, niece and nephew on this roadtrip, and of course Chloe and Sofian.

This was our first beach trip of the summer, and Rosie's first time back in the water for some hard core swim and retrieve. It was on this trip that I decided Rosie's vest was just too small (too short) on her, and on the way home we stopped at the LL Bean outlet store in Ellsworth where I found a really nice MTI doggy PFD (Personal Floatation Device). It fits her all the way down her back and holds her nicely in place (no sagging into the water). It is the red one you will see in the other groups of photos. I want to say that the Neo-paws life jacket is superb for dogs that are shorter in length than border collies are.

Grand Lake Stream, Trip #2

July 18th, 2009- Grand Lake Stream, Maine... After a swim at the dam, we went for a hike on a trail of a local Land Trust. Second Picture- During our hike, Rosie decides to cool off in a small stream, pack and all!

7/18 Above- Life Guard On Duty! We came to a look-out on our hike and stopped there to swim. Rosie dives off a rock to check on Page, and then after finding she is, promptly swims back. She doesn't believe in swimming for fun. Swimming is serious stuff and should only be done if there is a job to do. This can be not-so-fun because she will not stay out there with me.

7/18 At the dam, they had a public swim area with a tri-level diving dock. Above left- I am trying to keep Rosie out in the water by leashing her frisbee (by Chuck-it) onto my wrap-around, bungee Ruff Wear leash. Above Right- Rosie stares me down, subliminally telling me that "I must throw the frisbee into the water".

7/18 Above left- A levetating Chuck-it frisbee Above Right- Rosie makes a splash to retrieve her levetating toy.

Sandy Point Trip #2

July 7th, 2009 Stockton Springs, Maine Above- Rosie plays with a complete stranger on the beach at Sandy Point. This woman started playing with another dog first, and Rosie thought it looked like so much fun she grabbed a stick and ran down. She wanted nothing to do with the other dog, she just wanted to play with the woman!

7/7 Above 2 photos and below: just a few of Rosie's fine super model poses, and one picture with "Mommy"

Frisbee at the Bangor Waterfront

July 18, 2009- Frisbee with "Daddy" in the field at the Bangor Waterfront. (photos both above and below)

No comments: