Thursday, August 27, 2015

Every Day is a Gift

We've been busy this summer. Busy having fun and clearly not posting about it on the blog. Since I joined Facebook, I find it hard to update the blog. Facebook is easy...too post a quick photo or a quick story. Whereas, I have to find the time to sit in front of m y computer to post an update to the blog. So, not really an excuse for a lack of posts, more of just an explanation.

The last month has been a busy one. In late July Holly and I took a mini vacation and a road trip. A summer vacation is very unusual for me due to my job. But fun times with Holly while she is feeling good take precedence over everything this year, so I made a quick plan and took off.

I took Holly to Yellowstone Dog Sports in Red Lodge Montana for 2 days. What a super cool place! It's truly Dog World heaven. But we were not there for sports (although we did fit in 2 fun NADAC agility runs one evening), we were there to have Alanna Leach with Alanna Leach Pet Photography photograph Holly in a studio setting. I was in awe of the photos I had seen of hers earlier in the year and was able to plan a camping trip around having her take photos of Holly. She captured Holly's personality perfectly and I am so honored to have had this opportunity. The 4 photos below are my favorites...they are SO Holly :)

After our photo session was done, we took off to camp in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana and Wyoming. I have been wanting to go there for several years, but it's a very long drive (over 10 hours) just to get to the northern portion of the Beartooth Highway that I had kept putting it off. I'm glad we went :) The mountains, plateau and even the highway are absolutely stunning.

The road goes south from Red Lodge, Montana into Wyoming and winds it's way up to nearly 11,000 feet at the pass. We camped at about 9,500 feet at one of the several National Forest Campgrounds. Holly has never tent camped with me...having space issues, she was not a fan of my small backpacking tent so I never took her backpack camping. But since we were car camping, I bought a huge family sized summer tent and she was fine with it. In fact, she rocked car camping in a public campground like she'd been doing it all her life. She even made 2 friends...I got to chatting with two guys that were there for the fishing on our first day, and they stopped in several times a day to say hi, give Holly a cookie and a good scratch behind her ears. It was too cute. We stayed several nights and enjoyed exploring the area each day before taking off for home, going through the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park on the way.

It was an unforgettable trip and I am so happy I took the time to do it with Holly.

Unfortunately, the second I got home, work exploded and I spent a week working 12-15 hour days before my parents arrived for a 3 week visit. At the same time, the wildfires took off...we now have over 50 on our National Forest alone. It's been nuts. But we did fit in a few fun things when the smoke eased up for a day or two.

Currently our air quality is listed at Hazardous and more weather might bring in more fires. But we are currently safe and doing well.

I continue to be shocked with how well Holly is doing. She's on the metronomic chemotherapy and the minor side effects I saw in the beginning are gone. She's happy, bouncy and full of energy. The tumors in her leg have visibly disappeared and aside from buggering up her left knee, she seems pain free. This time with her is such a gift.