Eastern Utah
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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

These Were the Best of Days ...

...These Were the Worst of Days!  I think those words were written by Charles Dickens (Tale of Two Cities) and they come to my mind when reflecting on the past holiday weekend.

The "cabin" we rented was actually a B&B in the middle of hundreds if not thousands of B&B's around Donner Lake, as well as the other mountain beauty spots in the Sierra Nevada.  It was a gorgeous huge B&B sitting on the side of a very steep hill.  The driveway was steep and I couldn't walk down very far, and the steps up to the porch were kind of curved and hard for my poor eyes to see.  Rocky was an absolute angel and always helped me get up and down the steps safely.  When all the family arrived though, he turned into a different dog.

He loves people so much and could hardly bear the excitement of all the younger (much younger than me) folks, plus the kids.  He jumped on everyone, licked them to pieces, and I was humiliated by his behavior even though everyone told me he was fine.  They all stayed up until 2am the first night, playing games and card games - adults & children together, and the laughter & fun they had drove Rocky up the wall with excitement.  I knew he was tired so took him to bed where he whined, barked, and cried all night until the noise died down.  That's where I thought "these were the worst of days", and I couldn't understand how I thought he would be good to take along, how I would ever manage the rest of the trip, and how I would never in my life do it again.

The following day, New Year's Eve, was full of fun and excitement and he kept up with it all.  I decided we would just stay up for it, and again the food, games, and fun kept him on the edge of his capacity for enjoying everything and everyone.

On the way home, we came back with Ara and her fiancee, and stopped for food about an hour from home.  I kept him outside and took him to a grassy spot along the parking area where I thought he would pull my arms right off. I managed to not trip and to still keep hold of him, and wondered how I would safely get him back to the car.  I remembered that Andrew has taught him to "heel", so I said "Rocky, heel!".  That dog became a perfect angel and walked calmly to the car.

Today, we just came back from a little exercise in the dog park, then a walk around the block with his regular collar on, and I kept reminding him to Heel!, and praising him for how well he managed.  I think we've turned a corner, even though he has a long way to go and I wish I knew how to do something about the incessant chewing.  But I know everything is going to get better from here on, with some rough patches, of course.

 It was very cold in the mtns, with snow and ice on the ground and in the streets, so I didn't go out except to the dry patch just outside the house when I had to take Rocky out.  I loved being with the family and all the camaraderie involved with these get-togethers, but don't know if I would do it again.  I have been thinking about a camping trip however, maybe this coming spring or summer.  It would probably be very similar to this trip, with more excitement than I can take.  I'm more of a quiet and introverted loner, although I do enjoy my children and grandchildren and they certainly are extroverted.

I didn't take photos but if I get some of Jeannie's I will try to write a post another day about the "cabin" and our stay there.  I just wanted to say though, how relieved I am that there is hope for the team of "Rocky and Marty".  Even a couple of neighbors have called out to me this morning saying how well he is doing.

I hope everyone's holiday was as good and productive as mine, and best wishes to all for 2019!


  1. So glad to hear that Rocky is starting to work out for you. I know that you two will become best friends and be inseparable.

    1. It's going to take some time and effort, but I can see it will be worth it.

  2. Don't get discouraged. Lab puppies DO get more "civilized" as they mature, but it does try your patience. The chewing is generally the worst, but consistent and patient correction does the trick. Meantime, remove any tempting chew-able stuff from his surroundings. When my grand dog labs come visiting, we have most of the temptations up high enough that they don't seek them out. Also, exercising them at least once a day helps keep the activity on a more reasonable rate. Maybe a dog walker would help too.

    1. I keep hearing that the irritating stuff won't last forever, but in the meantime he is chewing everything I have to pieces! I do have a dog walker/trainer but he hasn't been here this week because of the holiday.

  3. I'm happy to hear you went on the weekend trip and enjoyed the family.
    Happy New Year

  4. I/m glad I went, but the first night there I wasn't so glad!

  5. Please congratulate Ara on her engagement!
    Just think that in a few more weeks with the help of your dog trainer Rocky will begin to behave in a manner that is to your liking.