Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Durango ~ Day 1

We recently returned from a wonderful trip to Durango with Jack and Middy.

We were really excited to see that it had just snowed a little on the evening of our arrival but we were even more thrilled when we woke up the next morning to find that it was snowing once again!

The view out of the cabin's 
front door that first morning!

The snow out of the side window 
showing the cabin next door.

And the view across the back porch from
the picture window in the living room.

Another back view taken from the 
edge of the cabin's porch. That's the 
Florida River but it's pronounced 
"Flow Rita" in their neck of the woods!

More out back.
After taking, pics we decided to 
venture into town to ride the 
train from Durango to Silverton.

There's Jack coming out of our 
little cabin named Hummingbird.

Middy and me.

We were all lovin' the snow!
It stopped snowing the closer 
we got to town though. 

This train stuff is serious 
business for Jack and George!

The engineer blew the whistle, and it really  
startled Middy. I wish I'd have had a video 
set on record because it was quite funny!
This pic only catches the 
beginning of her reaction.

We weren't able to get on the train 
that day so we scheduled our ride for the 
next day, and strolled through the 
railroad museum instead.

Then, we did some shopping in 
downtown Durango, and had lunch 
at the Diamond Belle Saloon which 
is located in the Strater Hotel

It started snowing again during lunch.

Once lunch was over, we decided to go 
back to the cabin and play in the snow. 
George only had tennis shoes though 
so we ganged up on him and made him 
buy his first EVER pair of cowboy boots! 
(We didn't get them in the store above 
though. We were directed to a much 
bigger store, the Boot Barn.)

He really likes his boots!

We got back to the cabin 
and it continued to snow.
The rhythm of the river was
such a pleasant sound!

Jack and Middy built a snowman.

Rollin' rollin' rollin'

keep them doggies rollin'!

Snow hide!

Jack thought he looked like a 
dog so he was named Fido.

The edge of the hustling river.

Have a seat!

It stays pretty dry under the huge 
canopy of those evergreens and pines
so it's a good place to take a couple pics!


Take in the view!

A few hours later Fido started leaning!
Sad but true!
Sniff, sniff!

Gorgeous! Don't ya think?
It looks exactly like something
you'd see in a picture!
Okay, it is a picture!

Oh but pictures cannot capture the 
true beauty of the snowy landscape. 
They're not bad though! 
And there aren't enough words to 
describe the joy that I was feeling in 
the midst of all this glistening glory!  

This day provided us with a spectacular 
display of God's nature at it's finest!

I HIGHLY recommend O-Bar-O Cabins too!
The Hummingbird cabin was a cozy treasure, 
and the owners were delightfully 
friendly and quite helpful!   

We will definitely be going back!

I'll post Day 2 soon.

With a Durango Snowy Smile,

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Tribute to Sweet Mitzi Mae

I am sad to say that our sweet Shih Tzu, Mitzi Mae, went to doggy heaven a couple of weeks ago.  I am heartbroken and there are no words to express how much I miss her!  She would have been 10 years old in June.  My friend Chris suggested that I post a tribute so we can celebrate Mitzi's life.  I thought it was a great idea!  It has taken me awhile to be able to put it together but here goes!

Mitzi's Personality

Mitzi was a very friendly, calm, and cool gal who was always ready to eat, and happy to greet a visitor.  In fact, I think just about all of our family and friends would say that Mitzi was their favorite of our three dogs.  She was a cutie pie too as you can see.  

Puppy Mitzi

Guard Dog

Barking was not something Mitzi did too often. It was a job she usually left to the "Official Barkers" in the family, her terrier sisters--Sally, a Mini Schnauzer, and Daisy Mae, a Boston Terrier.  Daisy just joined the family two years ago.  She was my Mom's dog.   

When Mitzi barked, it could be very humorous.  For the first four or five years of her life, Mitzi's barking was to alert us of a dangerous coat hanging over the back of a chair or a threatening Walmart sack that had fallen to the floor--anything of that nature.  The barks were always accompanied by rounds of growling too.     

I created a spot next to my computer where the dogs could lay at window level to keep up with the events out front.  Typically, Sally and Daisy would bark at other dogs being walked by their owners while Mitzi stood alert, excited, and wagging her tail in the middle of them.  

Scoping out neighborhood
events with her sisters

(l-r) Mitzi, Sally, Daisy

A Responsible Barking Administrator

As the years went on, Mitzi quit barking at coats, sacks, and other odd objects.  She only barked when she felt it was her responsibility.  Alone at the window with a dog passing by was not something Mitzi wanted to observe all by herself!

So what's a Mitzi to do 
when her sisters aren't around?  
Call them of course!  

She'd nose right up to the window and bark in delightful Mitzi Mae style.  During each and every bark, she'd throw her head back and up.  She had barking swagger! The very SECOND Sally and Daisy heard Mitzi barking, they would begin to bark and continue barking during their mad dash through the house to Mitzi.

Please note that as official barkers, Sally and Daisy don't always need to know what they are barking at or why they are barking.  They just do it because they can!

Once Sally and Daisy have charged into the room and looked out the window, Mitzi felt that she was officially relieved of her duties so she'd instantly stop barking.  That little gal did not like to waste energy.  I guess you could say she was energy-efficient.  Or just plain lazy.    

Pack Leader?

I often thought that Mitzi might have been the Pack Leader.  She definitely was the leader when Sally was her only companion.  When Daisy came along, they both seemed to strive for the Pack Leader position, and I was never quite sure who achieved the role.  

Mitzi and Sally thought they were a couple
of big wheels around here but oh no!

Comfy on Daddy's lap.

 Resting in the tall grass!

Observing the silly humans on
Jack and Middy's boat.

Hanging with sister Sally and her

friend Boo on Jack and Middy's boat.

Waiting to leave the dock.

Chillin' with Sally and looking spiffy
in their life jackets on the
bank of the Tennessee River.

What do I do now?  

The Log

Mitzi was her typical laid-back self even in the water.  If we didn't constantly keep her held upright, she would have rolled over, and been completely upside down in that life jacket.  She was like a log and never once tried to swim.  As far as she was concerned, she was there to cool off and relax, and it was our job to keep her upright!  We appropriately called her "The Log."  

 Back on the boat.

Always on the lookout for a bite 
to eat or MANY bites to eat!

 Snow running!

 Go, go, and go!

 Snow Prancing!

Appropriately Hanging Loose!

 My, my, but it's a hot day out here!

Oh man, don't make me come over there.
I don't want to get up!

 This was Mitzi's temporary position.
Head on the ground, placed between 
her paws with her eyes almost closed.

The Temporary Position

At bed time, the dogs would run into the bedroom when they knew we were going to bed.  Sometimes Mitzi would jump up on the bed but sometimes we picked her up because the bed was pretty high and jumping on it was not very easy.  It wasn't long before Mitzi had other ideas about this process, and she started staying in the living room, laying in her Temporary Position, waiting for us to come get her.  If we didn't do so in a timely manner, she'd move six or seven steps closer to the bedroom.  With each move, she nudged closer and closer to the bedroom, always PLOPPED herself into her Temporary Position.  It was like she was thinking, "I'm pretending I don't care if you carry me to the bedroom!"

"The Paw"

If Mitzi wanted something when we were laying in bed, she'd take her paw and tap us with it lightly, slowly, and repeatedly until we responded.  Initially, it was because she either wanted to go out or because she wanted a drink of water.  The dogs have a doggie door that leads out to their little fenced area which is inside our bigger yard.  I eventually started keeping the bedroom door closed because I didn't want them going out without me watching through the window because at times we had coyotes going through the backyard.  I didn't want my babies being a coyote snack!

Almost every night, I'd get "The Paw" in the middle of the night because Mitzi wanted to go out.  The problem was she often wanted to stay out there.  She'd stare through the fence and sometimes even bark at nothing.  I didn't like it one bit though!  To me, it's like alerting every coyote in the area that you're available for lunch.  And not in a good way!

I spent many nights madly traipsing through the backyard to get to the doggie yard so I could get Mitzi and take her back in the house!  After many months of torment, I solved this problem.

I yelled out the doggie door, "Want a biscuit?"

It didn't take but a couple days of yelling out the door before they were able to do their duty, and get back into the house in record time (and without me yelling out the door)!  As soon as they came in, I blocked the doggie door too or Mitzi would eat her biscuit and go right back out.  Ugh!

The Paw Gone Awry

Many times when Mitzi gave me The Paw, I would get up to take her out only to find that she merely wanted a drink of water.  Once she got it, she wanted to slowly walk around the kitchen, or look around the living room, or sit down, or just take her good old time deciding what to do next.  Of course, I'd grab her up and we'd go back to bed.

I thought I'd solve this problem by putting a bowl of water in our master bathroom. If she got off the bed and got a drink from the bathroom water bowl, she'd come back and give the bed "The Paw."  Of course, the bed can't pick her up and I didn't always know it.  If left on the floor too long, she's been known to go to the bathroom.  This did not make me happy.

This is where The Water In The Bathroom Plan went awry!

It went like this:  
Mitzi gave me The Paw, 
I went into the bathroom, 
retrieved the water bowl,
 brought it to the bed, 
and held it so that 
Mitzi Mae could have a drink of water!  

Can you say, SPOILED?
 I was well trained! 

Mitzi Mae's Final Hours

The next four pictures were taken 
during our last few hours with her.  

She's buried under the trees
in the back corner of the yard. 
Above and slightly to the right,
 of where she is standing. 

One of my very favorite Mitzi Mae pictures!
Mitzi sunbathing on a raft with me.
This time in her life jacket and 
sunglasses at Linda and David's pool.

Sweet Mitzi Mae brought us lots of smiles, laughter, and joy.  I cherish each and every memory!

Sending Mitzi Smiles,