Friday, June 21, 2013

Colorful Colorado


The plans that River and I had for today were changed unexpectedly due to a miscommunication between me and someone I thought was a friend. So we were left without a place to sleep or any plans for how to spend the day.

But while my clothes were in the drier, I looked around on the internet and found some pretty fun things to do instead. From Cheyenne, it was about a ninety minute drive to Longmont, where we spent the day.

I was surprised how little I drove before I was in Colorado. It seemed like only five or ten minutes. It was a hazy day. When I was growing up in the San Fernando Valley, we used to use ‘hazy’ as a euphemism for smoggy, but in Santa Barbara, we had a legitimate marine haze in the mornings, so I’m not sure if what I was seeing was smog or some kind of weather effect, but it sort of dampened the splendor. I could still tell that the immense, rolling landscape was a watercolor of green, yellow, orange and red, and the rock formations were awesome in their seeming intricacy. And, unlike the ones in Wyoming that were so far away that I couldn’t see them with my camera lens, the ones I saw off the Colorado highway seemed to come right up to the car.

I was stuck by the politeness and consideration of my fellow drivers as soon as I was in Colorado for a bit. Not that I’d been noticing much impoliteness, except for maybe that impatience issue I was mentioning. I tended to see that in cars from Wyoming and Utah.

Last night in my searches, I discovered a dog-friendly brew pub with a large outdoor patio. The Pumproom makes their own beers, but I didn’t have any. I’m not a big beer drinker--especially at noon. The hostess greeted River who was very calm and clung obediently close to me as we were shown to our seat. She was first going to seat us next to a table that also had a dog, and while the two of them weren’t reacting at the moment, I asked if we could possibly sit with more space between us. She understood and obliged. He lied down under my chair while I ate, and the busboy brought him a bowl of water.

Did I mention, it was 91 degrees? That’s getting into the ‘too hot’ category. But it is very dry. To a fault, it’s dry. I’ve had to give myself two coconut oil massages so far this week because my skin and lips have felt so dried out. Also my eyes and my nostrils are sore, and when I did my neti pot it was particularly productive. I’m not sure if that’s from the dryness or from being pelted by dusty winds for the past two days.

I’m not complaining. I just want to interject that here. I’m describing what’s happening. And sure, maybe I’d prefer if these things weren’t happening, but then again, why go to new places if they’re not different? I’m sure the people that live in Colorado and Wyoming have adapted to the conditions and they’re fine. I’m totally loving being immersed in a new environment.

After leaving the Pumproom, we went to another place in Longmont called the Union Reservoir. This is a beach that has a section designated for dog training. I loved that idea. I tend to avoid ‘dog parks’ and ‘dog beaches’ because it can be a hot bed of bad doggy behavior. And I don’t want River picking up any new tricks or bad habits. And in a frenzied free-for-all, I know River is going to want to play/fight with some of the other males. I’m comfortable with him doing it with me because I know he’s playing, but the other dogs might not know where River’s coming from.

We got there and there were dogs everywhere, but they were all well behaved and all interacting with their owners. Some of the humans knew each other, and their well-socialized dogs were playing all, together. The sight was a lot for River to take in, and at first he pulled on the leash. I wasn’t using the prongs, I was using his shoulder harness. When I switched to his prongs he immediately pulled it together and listened to me. 

I was able to walk him by all of the activity and get him to practice our obedience commands with a very high level of distraction. All things considered, I think he did really well. 

Eventually, I was able to get out his 30 foot lead and he would still obey me as if the prongs were still on his neck.

Today my little guy took his first swim. We’ve been wading in plenty of rivers and he’s walked out into the water up to his neck, but never deeper than his feet could touch. Today he was fetching his rubber boomerangything and I threw it way out into the water. He excitedly ran out there, and I ran along with him and encouraged him when he took to swimming out to grab it. And he actually had to dunk his head under the water to get his mouth around the thing. I feel like a parent who has witnessed his child’s first step. I’m so happy and proud of him. I hope he enjoyed it. He seemed to be having a great time, but he also looked a little panicked. So I guess we’ll find out the next time we’re at a body of water that allows dogs in, whether or not he’s into it.

We spent an hour and a half at the beach and then we were tired and filthy. It’s not the cleanest beach, as you could imagine. I don’t want to think about what’s in the water. La La I can’t hear you La La La!

I had found us a Motel 6 in Evans. And since it is only about ten or fifteen minutes further away from Lyons than Fort Lupton. I decided we could stay here two nights and cancel the Fort Lupton reservation. It’s just as well, because Fort Lupton had the prison style building with indoor corridors, which I don’t like.

As soon as we checked in, River and I washed up and both of us got a little coconut oil rub, and we both ate some, too. He’s now crashed on his blanket at my feet while I type this. It’s time for me to get some food and go to bed early tonight. I was up until three am figuring out what we were going to do today. But after the day we had, it was totally worth it.

2 comments:

Christine Saiyan said...

Amazing dog!
What's his name.. I wanna introduce him to Daphne! =)

Jason Alan Griffin said...

His name is River. I bet he would love to meet Daphne. He gets along great with females.