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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Northern Observations

A break in the weather. Andy hooks up his boat; I pack the cooler. FLD Mike's crate slides into the van. After puppy class at Leader Dogs for the Blind we head up to my brother's cabin in Iosco County. Andy is itchin' to get fishin'. Ah, the lure of the Ausable ponds.

As Gypsy bounds with abandon into the water after a thrown stick, Andy says, "I don't think I've ever seen such greater joy expressed." FLD Mike leaps in after her, but stops short of losing touch with the sandy lake bottom. This is only his second encounter with big water. The first time, at Fort Custer Recreation Area, he jumped in over his head--what a surprise! Now he's leery.

We manage an hour or so of hiking before the rain we spied in the distance comes upon us. FLD Mike mimics Gypsy; she lugs a log along, he carries a little stick.


On a 15-foot lead, I practice recalls with FLD Mike. Gypsy is quite the distraction, rolling in last fall's leaves, holding a stick in her mouth with her paws like she's playing a flute. Happy dog!

Night falls. There is more than two tired doggies in the cabin.

In the morning, FLD Mike plods into the bedroom as I linger under the snuggly comforter. He licks my face once and rubs against the side of the bed looking for a back scratch. I oblige. Gypsy trots in with a Kong toy and drops it at Mike's paws. He grabs it in play and bounces into the open living space where Andy is brewing coffee. Gypsy sneaks in where Mike had been, licks my face and slithers against the bed looking for my attention.

FLD Mike ignores the bird-call clock every hour. Just a few months ago, when we were here to play in the snow, he was enthralled by the hourly chirps.

Andy is gone with the boat early this morning, trying to beat the wind. As I type this, Gypsy is nestled amongst the pillows on the loveseat (the ease of owning an older dog), but FLD Mike is restless. Guess it's time we take a walk...

Oh, Andy just drove's raining! Looks like our northern foray is over.


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