I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but my grandparents on my dad's side own 25 acres of property about a 45 minute drive outside of the city limits. I haven't been able to get out to see them, but we finally made it out there yesterday. Roscoe's been out there before, but none of my other crazy fuzzies. Saying they loved it would not even come close to the enjoyment they had splashing in mud puddles, eating grass and chasing leaves/sticks/anything that moved.
We went out just after lunch, Mom and Dad picking me and all four dogs up. Mr. K couldn't come because he is still working through school and he had an exam yesterday. When we arrived at the driveway, we unloaded everyone so Mom and I could walk up. The driveway is about a kilometre long and is just wide enough for one vehicle. As we pulled in, one of my grandpa's friends was leaving and we had to reverse back out to the road. Roscoe was none too happy when the SUV started backing up. He squawked his displeasure. I'm assuming he thought we were going home. The other dogs didn't know what was at the end of the road, so were more confused as to why we were going backwards instead of forward.
Once the other truck had passed us, Dad pulled back in and Mom and I got all animals out of the vehicle. There were five in total: Miss Jetta accompanied all of us too. All beasts were asked to sit and once Dad was far enough away, we let them go. Every single one of them took off like a shot, even our resident senior citizen, Jetta. Otis had to stay on leash because there are so many watery holes of doom that he could drown in. We tied an extra leash on to his though and he had a bit more lee way. We even ran with him at different spots, just to let him run with everyone else.
By the time we arrived at the top of the driveway, every dog was covered in mud and water. Hermione was not only muddy, but she had a couple of cling-ons in the form of sticks and dried leaves. I picked stuff out of her fur as best I could, but there was no point in grooming her perfectly since we were going to be there for the afternoon. My two cousins were splitting and piling wood for Grandpa since he heats his house with a wood stove during the winter. Grandpa was nowhere to be found upon our arrival, but soon appeared, driving my parents 4-wheeler out to one of his sheds. It's actually a little make shift cottage that the original owners of the property lived in when building the main house. We call it the Grettle house. I'm not entirely sure why, but the name has stuck.
My very first dog, Sasha, is buried by the Grettle house and Roscoe went to visit him. I don't know if the dogs knew he was there, but they all took turns going to his grave site and sniffing. It totally could have been a fluke, but it was interesting.
After each dog met Grandpa, Mom and I continued walking around, trying to let Otis have plenty of exercise too. Nala found the clay pit which was full of water, muddy gross water I might add, and began running back and forth in it. Roscoe followed her in and to my absolute shock and horror Hermione tried a paw or two in the sticky glop. Thankfully, Otis couldn't reach it because I am sure his little French Piggie ways would have kicked in and he would have eaten himself sick. My grandparents had a big it dug a few years after they bought the property. They used the water to water flowers and hauled it to the sauna. Sasha used it as a swimming pool. I told mom to go over to the "swimming hole" as we dubbed it, to see if Nala would go in. For once, I was relieved to hear the splashing of paws as she skidded in and began swimming around. Roscoe thought about it, but when he realised that it was over his head, he backed off. Nala emerged with a yellow body/legs and a still very black face and head. I wasn't sure how we were going to get that off, but we would have to some way.
We continued our circuit around and ended up in the garage where Grandpa was making his own drill bits. I have no idea why or how, but that is what he was doing. "The boys," (AKA my cousins, we've always called them that), were coming up the rest of the driveway with the truck full of wood to unload. Dad was driving along ahead on a kid's motorcycle with his legs sticking straight out in front of him; yelling of course. I nearly keeled over laughing. He had it going as fast as it could go and I probably could have outrun it. He had to have his legs up because he was much too tall for the little bike. The motorcycle was parked, wood unloaded and we all stood around chatting, Hermione chasing leaves and Roscoe and Nala off frolicking somewhere.
Off frolicking where?
I pulled out my whistle and blew. Two big dogs came thundering into the garage and Nala sat perfectly in front of me. Hermione came too even though we knew where she was. As I started digging recall treats out of my pocket, something caught my attention. I breathed deeply and leaned closer to Nala. Sure enough, she smelled.
However, instead of stinking of fox or goose poop (which is a Nala special) she smelled like mint.
"Grandpa!" I exclaimed. "Do you have wild mint growing?"
He said that he did and we went off in search of the fragrant patch Nala had found. Sure enough, we found a huge area where the mint was growing wild. Not only did Nala smell better, but her face wasn't black anymore. I've decided we should plant mint at dog parks.
When we returned to the garage, I tied Otis to the leg of my chair so I didn't have to hold on to him. My cousins came back from the wood pile and Otis was so stinking excited to see them that he pulled the leg of the chair right off. One minute I'm sitting comfortably, the next there's a loud crack and I'm teetering on three legs. We switched me to a chair with metal legs and tied Otis to that. No more broken chairs.
We spent the rest of the afternoon just talking, cutting Grandpa and Dad's hair. Grandpa even peeled and cut up apples for the dogs which he gave to them. Eventually the sun went away and the boys had to head home. Grandpa was getting ready to head out to his deer stand anyway, so we packed five very tired dogs into the SUV and drove home. There was not one squawk from any of them on the drive home.
Next Saturday we're going back out for a sauna and a late lunch. Grandpa's cooking, so I'm looking forward to that. It was so nice to be home, surrounded by family, my crazy dogs and a whole lot of nature. We even got to see a deer from a distance. I can't wait to do it all again on saturday. Well, perhaps minus the broken chair leg.