We had a mini-adventure with Cholula yesterday.
After chilly, wet weather for most of Memorial Day weekend, the sun decided to show up to the party. John and I wanted to get outside and soak it in with Cholula, and had been eyeing a pond and adjacent trail near our house. We’d seen happy dogs retrieving balls and splashing around there, and the trail looked like it turned up into some aspen groves. It was the perfect day to explore.
I knew we were in the right place when I saw this sign (and vowed to bring a batch of balls to leave behind next time as a ‘thank you’ gesture).
Cholula is part chocolate Labrador, even though it’s hard to see anything but those German Shepherd ears. She has a Lab’s webbed feet, so we’ve been confident she’d love water. She got a taste of it on our first camping trip of the year, but it was confirmed yesterday that she is, in fact, part fish. We took a chance letting her off of her leash, and she sprinted toward the shore and splashed joyfully around the little pond. Everybody’s buddy, she quickly made friends with three large black Labs who were taking turns swimming deep into the pond after a ragged tennis ball.
The Lab trio’s parents were super nice. After many years in the dog park community with Zamboni, I was reminded how easy it is to chat away with
strangers other dog owners, brought together by the common desire to have a happy, entertained dog. You can talk with the same people every week for years and never know their names- only their dog’s name. I made a point to introduce myself and hope to see Lab Family again.
Encouraged by Cholula’s successful off-leash trial, we decided to head up the trail and see where it led. We clipped her back in for a little while until we knew what we were getting into. We were treated to a lovely little hike, filled with springtime flowers and the silver-green leaves of aspen trees.
As we ventured higher toward the first summit, I looked to my left through the trees and realized we had gained enough elevation to see over the two rises and highway into our neighborhood. I even spotted our house on the far hillside, reminding me how close to home we really were.
We kept Cholula off of her leash for the majority of the hike. Like a good Shepherd, she never got too far from us, ahead or behind. She was having a fabulous day, and it was obvious just by watching her bounce around, sniffing new smells, tail up, ears alert, frequent wags. We found her new happy place. Which makes me happy, too.
It’s pretty cool that our mini-adventure was so close to home. Because there’s no question we’ll be back- often.
I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day weekend and took a moment to remember our servicemen and women who work so hard and give everything for the freedoms we all enjoy in this country. Thank you!