Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Boone Discovers the World

A little over a year ago, Becky and I sat staring at a list scribbled on a piece of paper. On the left side were all the things we like to do. Kayak fishing, day hikes, extended hikes, canoe trips, work, going out to eat, bicycling trips etc... On the right side was how we would do these things if we owned a dog.

Except for the last 3 years, we've always had a dog in our family. Our previous dog, Pepper had lived to the ripe old age of 18 and we were convinced that no dog could possibly replace her. Three years after Pepper passed, we found ourselves staring at this scrap of paper. Weighing the loss of our freedom against the fun of sharing life with a dog.

Long story short, we dove in headfirst (as we always seem to do), decided that our new pup would be our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other, and found what we thought was the perfect dog. We named him Boone (no special meaning - we just like the name) and have spent the last year watching him discover our world.

As a puppy, Boone was very relaxed and sleepy. Not at all like other puppies we've seen. But he loved water and loved going on long walks. Good signs for being part of an outdoor family.

Boone went everywhere with us - so when Harold Schoeffler invited us to go fishing with him offshore, we naturally brought Boone along. I don't think Harold was amused when Boone lost his breakfast in Harold's seat while we were riding out the swells near a rig in Vermilion Bay.
Boone's first real hike was near Salida Colorado at the Orient mine area to see the Bat caves. He was a good little hiker - following along and soaking in the experience in his good natured way.

Later on that same trip, Boone discovered one of his great loves: SNOW!!! The skies opened up and dumped 2 feet of early snow on Salida - leaving Boone a brand new playground. He dug in it, romped in it, tunneled under it, bounded over it and even ate it. He loved this strange white stuff and just couldn't get enough. Here are some pictures of Boone discovering snow:

The holidays are all about family, and Boone loves family. Here's a few pictures of Boone with family:

In January, Boone was a part of a very chilly cross-basin canoe trip with friends. We spent 3 days in the Basin crossing from Catahoula to Bayou Sorrell. Here's some pictures of Boone on the Basin trip:

In the spring, Boone was Becky's hiking partner for his first real backpacking trip. Becky and Boone hiked the Appalachian Trail all the way from Georgia to Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. They spent 2 weeks on the trail and covered well over 100 miles. Here's some pictures from their adventure:

During the spring, Boone also took his first trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas as part of a guided trip Becky and I led for a school in Houston. Here are a few pictures of Boone discovering the Buffalo river:

We have spent some time in Colorado hiking and mountain biking. Here's a few pictures of Boone in the high mountains of Colorado:

Watching Boone discover the world has been a lot of fun. Dogs are a wonderful reminder of what it is to trust, to celebrate, and to love. If there's a lesson in any of this, it's simply that taking a chance on love is always worth it. Here's to good dogs, good times and a great life!

Backpacking Cat

We got these pictures and story through a friend's email. We think you'll enjoy them...

Kitty is a very adventurous cat. She is the beloved pet of American travelers, Peter and Marcia Simmons, who are hiking from
Miami , Florida to Ushuaia in Argentina . They are currently in Colombia . Kitty is often seen resting in Peter's backpack as they travel. They have set up a little umbrella on the backpack to shade Kitty from the sun.

Kitty is enjoying the trip as much as her owners. She often climbs on Peter's shoulder to get a better view of the new scenery. She is not at all shy about meeting new people. If there was an award for the most adventurous cat, Kitty would be the purr-fect candidate.

Kitty is definitely Daddy’s girl…