Thursday, August 6, 2009

What I did on my summer Vacation by Zane Johnpeer

Hey Dad!

We just went on our annual trek to the High Sierra where we spent a week in an old cabin in a place called Mono Hot Springs. Here's a brief review of what we did.

Gary decided that this year they could pack a week's supply of food and supplies into their SMALL Honda Civic (bad decision I think) for the trip to the mountains. Seems like Vicki likes to pack everything except the kitchen sink so there was barely enough room for me to sit down in the back seat!

But as long as I'm close to somebody, I'm happy. I was squeezed between Vicki's legs and the back of the front seat all the way. The nine hour ride was tiring because the last 20 miles were very bumpy due to a dirt road that is not well maintained. But I like the feel of the motion of the car and the vibration of the floorboards on my tender belly so I was OK with the whole ordeal.

At the cabin they rented (believe me, it was very "rustic" to say the least) their house rules were very relaxed and I got to lay around and rest a lot. I even got to lay on the picnic table to be petted and combed. In the evenings, when they were star-gazing I got to sit in Gary's lap! They wouldn't let me chase toys outside because of the rattlesnakes in the area.

One day they took me to the river where I thought it was going to watch Gary and Kate fish. But when I got there, they expected me to swim and, as you know, I don't really like swimming much, if at all. They coaxed me into the water to swim (twice), but I decided that was enough and wouldn't go in again any deeper than my knees. (You remember, Dad, when we went to the beach in CA - I barely got wet!)

Why does every body think that just because I'm a Lab that I love to swim? I'm a pure-bred guide dog/therapy dog, not Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer!

Once we took a long hike to a remote glacial lake which was wonderful, but I had no intention of swimming there either and made that perfectly clear once I got there. Fortunately, it was a cool day for hiking and nobody got too overheated. Dad, you should have seen the beautiful flowers and big pine trees reflecting in the mirror-smooth lake water. It reminded me of the time we rode up to that lake in the mountains at the TNT Ranch when I was living with you.

Near the end of the vacation, we took a boat trip to Florence Lake. I was afraid they'd want me to swim again but they didn't even ask me to. They cooked hot-dogs and fished some more, then we rode the boat around the lake so Gary could take pictures of the rocks for his geology class lectures.

On the way, Vicki spotted a big bird that turned out to be a Bald Eagle. What an amazing and beautiful animal and it landed in a tree very close to the shore so we got some neat pictures.

Our trip home to Brea was long, too, but not as crowded in their small car because we had eaten much of the food they hauled in. I would have gladly eaten more but they kept me to my two-cup-a-day limit of kibble. I sat on the back seat with Vicki and just loved the return ride.

We're getting back into the daily routine (Gary calls it the daily "grind"). However, the next big event was our trip across town to pick up another Guide Dog puppy . . . yes, it's their 5th. I had been hoping they'd decide to stop raising these puppies so that I could remain top dog at the house, but Gary has promised me I'll always be top dog.

They are all excited to see the new puppy called "Jeb", but to me it's just another black fur ball with five toes on each leg and each leg attached to a black chunk of meat. He's almost 10-weeks-old and has a skinny tail (no where near as handsome as mine) and he pees and poops a LOT!

Maybe they'll get fed up with his bad manners and get rid of him, but I kind of doubt that. So far, I'm just pretending they never brought him home, but in a way I'm glad they did because when he grows up a bit, well, he might be someone I can play with . . . not sure.

I'm here for the long haul and I'm still top dog . . . Gary has promised me that and he doesn't lie.

Gotta go now and watch Gary clean up some more puppy pee off the floor!

I love you so much. Say Hi to Claudia and Grandma and give Parka a big hug for me.

Your Pal,


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