Blog backlog: Spring break

Greyhound related , Kim or Matt related April 29th, 2013

March 27-30

Spring break came early this year (thank goodness), and I was ready to escape town and hit the road. The complication, as always, was Sophie, who doesn’t so much mind being on the road as whatever’s at the end of it (unless it’s the dog park).

So this vacation was carefully chosen to maximize Sophie success and minimize Sophie drama. We would not be staying in a noisy Motel 6. Rather, we would stay at the Howard Creek Ranch Inn, in Westport, about a 30-minute drive from Fort Bragg. It’s far enough out that we planned to spend most of our time on the property, which is not exactly a hardship, as it’s only a few hundred feet from a state beach and has walking trails into the hills. It’s also far enough out that there aren’t a lot of people.

So we bundled the dogs up early enough to stop in Ukiah for lunch and a dog park break, bought groceries in Fort Bragg, and went to the ranch to cook dinner.

Believe it or not, that’s Philip off-leash. He gets to be off leash because he’s ten, and after a visit to the dog park and a walk on the beach, we can now trust him to do this:

Philip in the meadow

Sophie, on the other hand, is six, has no recall to speak of, and can’t be trusted for beans, so she had to stay inside. Which she didn’t like. Don’t worry, though, she managed to communicate her displeasure quite clearly.

Sophie locked in

Keeping Sophie exercised meant a great many walks, both on the property and the beach, where she made friends with the property manager’s dog, Philip made “friends” with a goat and none of us, thankfully, made “friends” with the mountain lion who was picking off sheep at night.

goat friend

Did I mention that keeping Sophie exercised meant lots and lots and lots of walks? We spent a lot of time on the beach.

minus tide

We also spent a lot of time, both on the beach and off, shooting video of the dogs, because I discovered iMovie trailers and found them endlessly entertaining. After day upon day of 3+ walks, even Sophie got tired enough that we felt able to do a little off-leash time with her. Mostly, we’d drop her leash, spread out, and have her run between us. Sometimes, Philip would go along.

fussing 1

In which case, things could get a little out of hand.

fussing 2

Or maybe just off balance.

fussing 3

All in all, we had a very rejuvenating vacation, even if we didn’t get to sleep in much (thanks to Sophie, who rises with the sun, and the rooster on the property, who thought the sun was rising all. day. long.) And we were very pleased with Sophie, who did very well with the room (it took about 20 minutes to lure her in with cheese the first night, and then she went in and out like a pro) and a lot of other things that I thought might be problems for her, like the gate to the garden and the hanging bridge over the creek (video to follow). So this was definitely a win, and now I’m counting down until summer so we can go back.  :)

One Response to “Blog backlog: Spring break”

  1. [...] jaunt out to the coast for our anniversary (7 years!) during the first week of August. Since Sophie did well at the ranch on our last trip, we figured we’d be fine taking the dogs along. (Side note: Someone at [...]

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