March on the Plains

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Yesterday morning Martha and I joined the group for a walk on the Plains. We were a little late, and the road where we parked was hard packed dirt, glazed with old ice. Not a great walking or driving surface. Martha got off to a slow start, obliged as she was to sniff everything. We finally got going along the packed down snowmobile trails and caught up with the group.

It was pretty cold – high teens – but I was warmly dressed. The trail was a little tricky, because if you stepped off the packed snow, your foot went down deep into the soft powder on the sides of the trail.  The group moved along at a brisk pace.  The dogs were quite a mix – three large labs, a golden, a beagle, and few tiny ones including a chihuahua, a teacup yorkie, and some others. It was a great walk, even if we were only out for about an hour.

I expected that Martha would be a little sore afterwards, since we’d been inactive for so long and she had pushed herself pretty hard.  I gave her some pain meds when we got home. Later that evening, when we were at my folk’s house for dinner, she was pretty stiff. I stayed overnight, but I slept on the couch on the first floor because Martha wasn’t able to climb the stairs. Uh oh.

She hadn’t improved much overnight, and I gave her some more meds when we got home this morning. She has an appointment to see the chiropractic/acupuncture vet on Wednesday. She can just about get onto the couch, but can’t leap up to the bed, and it breaks my heart to see her like this.

She will be twelve in May.

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Missing Prudence.

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Last September we spent a week on Prudence Island, Rhode Island.  It’s a very special place for me. My grandfather discovered it in the ninteen teens when he was a boy scout, and he built a cottage there which our extended family shared for many years.

 After Grampa and Gramma died, my mom and her sisters inherited the cottage, but it was in need of some major repair and renovation.  My oldest cousin had always spent a lot of time on the Island, and had invested a lot of time and effort over the years to maintain the cottage, so eventually the sisters and my mom sold their shares in the cottage to him. He’s done a great deal of work on the place, and spends nearly every weekend there.  He’s really earned the right to the place, and I’m glad he enjoys it.

Last summer was the first time I’d been to Prudence for nearly fifteen years.  It has changed a lot, mostly for the better.  There are now many miles of trails to walk, and parts of the Island which were inaccessible when I was a child are now open to the public.  We walked all over the Island, averaging more than 5 miles a day, with no repeats for a week.  It was glorious and the weather was perfect. Martha was a very happy dog indeed.

This summer has been less active, and as the leaves start to turn I feel pulled back to Prudence.  I can’t spend a week this year, but I hope to make a couple of day trips.  I don’t intend to wait another fifteen years.