Sunday, August 14, 2011

Are we there yet?

Warning: Picture heavy!

The whirlwind summer is at an end. We are finally home for good and it's wonderful. I don't think Summit cares much. He's so used to travelling now. When he sees me packing up our stuff and loading the car he starts to get really excited because he knows we're headed out for a roadtrip... which means a comfy bed to sleep in for hours.

We headed up to Sault Ste Marie for my boyfriend's cousin's wedding. I won't bore you all with the photos and details since you're all here for Summit's adventures. And there were many adventures for our adventure hound.

First we visited the family camp where Summit got to lounge around, meet some other dogs and drink out of the lake. The camp is right on Lake Superior and although there are lots of camps all along, this one is almost the very last one which means it's very quiet and doesn't have much traffic going by. It's a very relaxing place to be in the outdoors. He also had the distinction of being the best behaved dog there which meant everyone loved him. The BF's parents were very proud that their "granddog" was the best behaved doggie there.

The next day we took Summit for his first boat ride. I bought a life jacket for him back in the spring in preparation for this ride. We had to lift him down into the boat so the big, strong boys did the heavy lifting. I expected Summit to be nervous once the boat got up to speed, but surprisingly he was fairly unperterbed. He had trouble finding a soft spot to settle down, but he did and when he wasn't lying down he was sniffing the wind and seemed to enjoy himself.

Just a boat ride. Booooring!
Our destination was a beautiful island. It's very small and private with beach all the way around. Summit had to swim to shore from the boat (about waist high) and we guided him and steadied him. He had his lifejacket on and had no trouble swimming to shore with us. I've heard of greyhounds that just float in their life jackets and don't try to swim but he was very willing to paddle for us. We took him back out without his jacket as well and while he wasn't as thrilled with the idea of a swim, he did very well once he realized that mom wasn't letting him go back to sleep without a short swim.

And no, I did not photoshop out his leash. That greyhound is leash free! GASP! Now, before the lynch mob comes out, let me add this disclaimer. This is a very small island. It is private. The only way to reach it is by small boat and you almost never have to share the island with anyone else and there are no vehicles. It's far enough from the mainland that there is really no wildlife. Add to this a dog with good recall and this is about the safest place you could off leash any dog, not just a greyhound. It was great to see him wander around on the beach without his leash and he even got up to speed and did some zoomies in the sand. No, I would not trust him off-leash at home in the city. This was a very special circumstance in which I felt it was acceptable for him to be off leash.

If only all ground could be soft like sand. I have never seen Summit sit on his own as much as he did on the beach. He chose to sit instead of stand or lay down. It was like having a non-greyhound!

Well then we thought he did so well with a small boat... why not a BIG boat? We left Sault Ste Marie and made our way down through Manitoulin Island to Tobermory in the Bruce Peninsula. We planned to do some camping and hiking. To cross from the island to the mainland you have to take a big ferry called the Chi-Cheemaun. So we loaded the car on, grabbed a blanket and Summit's life jacket and took the 2 hour ride. We had to stay out on the decks because dogs aren't allowed in the lounges. Luckily the weather was very good, though it was windy and the waves were very big. Once again Summit did very well and didn't mind the boat ride at all.

I was a little nervous about camping with the dog. Well, maybe not nervous, but I wanted to make sure I thought of everything. I brought his x-pen to put around the tent entrance so we could open the flap without worrying, and so we could leave the tent open and allow the dog to be inside or outside in the evening while we cooked dinner. It worked out great. Being a typical greyhound he mostly chose to sleep inside on our sleeping bags, but he did also spend some time outside hoping for tidbits.

We spent two days hiking which is a favourite of Summit's. We didn't hike as long as I would like as Summit just isn't up to it this year. I take him for long walks, but back to back days of long hikes was a pretty big deal. He loved it but he was definitely one tired puppy!

I have been going to the Bruce Peninsula since I was 12 and have never seen a Massassauga rattlesnake. Well, I finally saw one! It's the only venomous snake in Ontario and is only found in that area, though in that area they are relatively common. I'm just glad I saw/heard it. It was right in the middle of the trail, and Summit was out on his 8 foot long line ahead of us. As soon as I realized there was a snake I called him back to me, but that definitely could have been a scary experience.

Just ignore my idiotic babbling during that last video. I was so excited. After 6 or 7 years I FINALLY saw a rattlesnake.

So that is the end of our travels for this summer. Good riddance. It was fun but I'm sick of living out of a suitcase. Agility starts again on Thursday for us, so stay tuned for that!


Lindsay said...

I LOVE all the pictures and videos!! Looking forward to heraing more about Summit and agility.:)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'd LOVE to go to a little island like that. Very cool!

Marcia said...

I let my grey off leash for hiking on secluded trails and his recall is amazing! Good to see another grey gets to stretch his legs as well:)