September 1st, 2015
I am often asked where Bailey goes on her early morning outings. We have discovered lots of places. She and I have our regular haunts like the playground. Bailey likes to move around the equipment as she follows a tantalizing scent. I practice recall with Bailey while picking up any stray piece of garbage at the same time. Sometimes, Bailey gets into the act of disposal and finds a discarded food product before me. One week, it was fries from the Big Arches. I was slow to notice and she managed to scarf a couple down. Once we have done a circuit of the playground, the two of us can either take a town walking tour or venture into the nearby wooded area surrounding our town. Today, we decided on the latter – nature was calling.
Bailey and I took an ATV/motorbike trail that is no longer used because of a fallen tree. Three months ago, Bailey could barely get over it. She now just lumbers over it without slowing her pace. This winding path leads to a sandy road which we follow for a short distance. It seems to be a popular dog walk road as Bailey puts her sniffing into high gear. Upon reaching the sand pits, we make our way across before taking another ATV trail. I like to let Bailey off leash and practice her recall. She doesn’t go too far ahead and will wait for me to catch up. Sometimes, she’ll get a hold of a branch or piece of vegetation and clambers into the nearby bush to savour her treasure. Bailey loves to lie down on the moss for a quick rest. This trail leads us towards Jean Lake.
The two of us love the peacefulness of Jean Lake in the morning. With the exception of the birds, the only other noise is from river which empties into the lake. The fog was just starting to lift off the surface of the water when we arrived there. I am reminded of how vast and beautiful the big land of Labrador is. The sandy beach belonged to only us. There was a slight breeze and few black flies. Perfect conditions for throwing a stick into the water. Bailey just charged in without any hesitation. It seems not too long ago, Bailey was just dipping her paw, unsure of what this large water bowl was about. I have learned that Bailey loves longer sticks – especially twigs with leaves still on them. When we were more or less tired of fetching, our stroll resumes.
Bailey and I followed a trail that meanders along the lake’s shoreline. It veers in through the woods and then back into the open for a stretch. I discovered wild raspberries beside the trail. Having eaten a couple hours earlier, the berries were greatly appreciated by me and my sidekick. I refer to them as Northern Gold – a rare find. I thought about bringing a few home. Sadly for those family members still in bed, Bailey and I had only a photo to show – the berries were gone. We exited the lake trail and continued walking back towards home. The street that we always take is long and suited to practicing our stop, sit and stay commands. It is like a domino effect as one dog barks at our passing to alert the next dog. Bailey had learnt to ignore these barks – some of them not as friendly as others. We are on the home stretch. The stresses of life are forgotten. The two of us have shared a special time with one another while exploring the beauty of the Big Land.
P.S. At 31 weeks, Bailey is now 39.2 kg or 86 pounds 7 ounces.