October 24th, 2018
Unfortunately, my last two blog posts could not be posted while away. Here is the one written on October 9th.
It has been 4 long days since I last saw my Newfoundland dog, Bailey. I haven’t been able to throw a ball, play tug with her rope toy or rub her endless body of real estate. Where am I? I left Labrador for Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is the place where I grew up and my parents still live. The trip involved travelling across 5 provinces before arriving in the province of my destination. The journey spanned two days. I left a place where winter is nipping at fall’s heels and landed in one just bursting in autumn colours. The toque and gloves lie dormant in my suitcase. And now that I am here in “paradise” as the locals refer to it (obviously, they are biased), my heart longs for my girl. We parted knowing our routine would be changing. The suitcase was a dead give away for a Newf use to seeing my husband disappear for weeks when it suddenly appeared in the entry way. Bailey sensed something was amiss. She exerted quite a bit of effort to arouse herself from a deep sleep and clamber to the door for a final goodbye. I snapped a parting shot to remind me of the wonderful creature waiting back home on my return.
Since my arrival, I have kept up the early morning walking routine. The four hour time zone change has wrecked havoc on my internal clock. I wake up around 2:30 am and force myself to remain in bed until 4:30 am. By 5 am, the bed is made and I am dressed for a hike. I don’t encounter many people, a couple of joggers and a dog or two being taken for a walk. As I tried to remember places from 40 years ago, I found myself venturing into newly developed areas that no longer resemble what was there in the past. It is unsettling but, I kept on moving down one street then another. The place was overtaken with deer. I saw 8 on the first morning, followed by 7 on the next day and today’s count was a high of 9. I am thankful that Bailey is not with me on these encounters. I often wonder if she would give into her prey drive and give chase with me dragged behind. The trees are tall and stunning while the vegetation is lush. Bailey would have lots to sniff and ideal spots to leave her p-mail.
To pass the time on these walks, I mentally compose love letters to Bailey about what she means to me. You may be asking yourself is she crazy, love letters to a Newf? I assure you that I am not. I spend a large portion of my days in Labrador West with her. And yes, talk to her as if she really understood what I was saying. Bailey is my joy even on those days when she vomits her dinner up after I had just cleaned the kennel. The drool, the piles of poop, the fur bunnies floating tn the house are a small price to pay for everything that Bailey has given me. The wet kisses at the start of the day warm my heart and strenghten my resolve to brave the cold winter temperatures for an outing with my sweetness. Research indicates that pet owners live longer. Under Bailey’s watch, I have maximized my life span to the fullest. Each love letter reflects how much I miss her. Simply put, I love her and eagerly await our reunion.