Sunday, January 04, 2015

In Loving Memory of my dog Peanut...

This is not about travels which is what I post on this blog, but I needed somewhere to remember my pup. To share with the world his goodness, and the joy he brought me. So here it goes.

Yesterday I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I let my sweet boy Peanut go. He had recently gotten very sick and been hospitalized while I was out of town for the holidays, and had recovered for a short period of time. His diagnosis of kidney failure was severe, and untreatable. After much heartache and reflection, I decided to let him go now, while he was feeling better, before he got really sick again. I had some time I could take off work with the holidays, so I decided we would have our last few days together, and would make the most of them.

My dad and step mom Tami brought Peanut home from the shelter when I was 16. ( I am now 30.) His name was Biscuit, but they felt he was more a Peanut, and so he became "our Peanut." He has been with us for over half of my life. When I think about that, I feel so lucky to have had him for such a long time. He lived with my dad and Tami, and soon my little sisters until I brought him to live with me in Seattle last New Years Eve. We brought in both 2014 and 2015 together. He spent a year with me in Seattle, my constant companion in a place where I didn't know anyone, and still do not know many. Even at 15 (or is it 16, 17... we really don't know) Peanut bravely entered the new world of being a city dog again, after having become a country dog for the last 7 or so years.

He had to wear a collar and leash again, he took car rides with me wherever I went. He went into some Seattle stores with me, everyone turning to see where the little clicking of toenails was coming from, and aww'ing over what a cutie pie he was. He even rode the Seattle Metro bus with me a few times... including a memorable summer evening when we walked along the Seattle waterfront. He braved the new weather, cold and rain, like a champ! He became a road trip buddy as we explored, and he even saw mountains with me. Through it all he made me smile every single day.

Peanut is a special dog who fought a hard case of heartworm in the first couple of years we had  him (thanks to my Dad and especially Tami for sticking through it with him) and even survived a grouchy dog taking a swipe at his ear. (They both used to stand!) :)

He was extremely smart and listened better than any dog I have seen. He could only do a few tricks (like sitting and laying down) but he really shined when he would walk off leash like a gentleman, didn't jump up on people, was fantastic with kids, and somehow ALWAYS knew it wasn't proper to poop outside in a beer garden or a Seattle neighborhood market. :) Sometimes on our walks around the neighborhood, Peanut would stop when we passed kids, and wait to be petted, always a little sad when they didn't. On our last night together though, he came with me babysitting, and made the little 2 year old boy Jack SO happy, and I think Peanut was pretty happy too. I'm not sure I will ever find another dog like him, and am so thankful for the amount of time he spent with us, and with me. I think he would have kept on going forever if only his body hadn't started to let him go.

During our week together, we had a rare day of sunshine on New Years Eve, so Peanut and made a few stops at some of my favorite places around town. He indulged me and let me have a little photo shoot... but mostly I think he was so happy to be well enough to walk out in a park and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Here are some shots from that day:

First stop Gasworks Park. 

Nose kisses!

Next stop,Kerry Park in Queen Anne

And our last stop of the day (Poor Peanut was exhausted by this point)... was Golden Gardens Park.

Back at home, Peanut had a good rest. We spent as much time together as I could in the next couple of days, trying my best to balance smothering him with all the love I could give, and letting him have the alone time that he so often craved. 

I grabbed a couple videos that day at Gasworks, when Peanut was feeling his best. He had an extra bounce in his step.. the sunshine and off leash freedom will do that to ya ;) 

If you every think of getting a dog, please go save one (or two or three!) from the nearest shelter. They will spend every day after, thanking you. But really, you are the lucky one. 

Rest in peace my wonderful pound pup, Peanut. Thank you for the love and joy you filled my life with. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fall trip to Bellingham and a ride on Mt. Baker Byway... to Mt. Shuksan

In early October it was a beautiful day so I took my dog and we went for a drive :) I LOVE driving when the weather is nice and there are fun things to look at.. and I also LOVE Victorian style houses. So I bought a book called something along the lines of ... Victorian homes in the Pacific Northwest, when I was in Astoria, Oregon last year. There is only one in Seattle, but there were a few in Bellinhgam, Washington- so I started my drive that day by walking through/driving to the neighborhoods of these three houses.

Peanut, my driving buddy, bright and perky at the beginning of our road trip!

Some of the rolling hills we passed on the drive up reminded me of living in East Tennessee. I am a fan of all hills/mountains/inclines.. :) 

These houses were not in the book, but I thought they were adorable! Made me wonder if Bellingham is a place I could settle down in one day (presuming I do settle down..)

Here was the first of one of the houses from the book.. it was behind a lot of trees and hard to see without massively trespassing in their yard.. but it had lots of great detail, especially in the trim.

One house had these random but cool creations their yard!

The side of the previous house, you can see a little more here... 

The second house in the book... I realllllly loved this one.

And the last house! What a cool tower!

We had lunch at a cute place in town that was dog friendly on their porch and then made our way along the Mt. Baker Scenic highway for another two hours or so.. not even really knowing where we would end up! 

It was a really pretty drive!

Some of the Fall color we saw along the way...

A cute little stream that I heard long before I saw... when we stopped at the Ranger Station along the way..

Puller over to take some pics while driving on the way up to Artist Point.. the end of the Scenic By Way

I got back in the car after taking some pictures and Peanut was up and ready to go!

The first Mountain sighting!

We kept driving and passed what looked like a hotel and a weird amount of cars, and all of a sudden I turned the left and saw this!!!
It hit me like a ton of bricks and was amazing!

Mount Shuksan!!

This is actually Highwood Lake...

This was literally one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen. The best part was I didn't even know I would see this on the drive! It was a total surprise!

 I just had to document Peanut's first Mountain visit!

This one is Picture lake... a slightly different view...

More pics from Picture Lake....

You could see a little more Fall color at this lake..

Here is actually a shot of the road we were on and the two lakes. Turns out the hotel I saw was the Chalet at Mt. Baker.. and further up was a ski resort that wasn't open yet. Looks like it would be a great place to stay at in the Winter!

As we kept driving up past the lakes and to Artist Point...

View from up top at Artist Point

Some Gorgeous Fall color at the top of Artist Point...

 You can see JUST the tip of Mount Baker which was hiding behind the clouds...  (With a little Instagram filter to enahnce the colors) ;)

One last view as we were leaving.... 

By the end of the day (about 7 hours later) Poor Peanut was ready to go home!

It was a gorgeous day, drive and a lovely surprise as I didn't know I would see any of what I saw! :)