Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snow Already?

Much to Niko's delight, snow came super early this season. We headed up to Ed's parents this weekend (one of Niko's favorite get-aways). He loves it there because of the vast openness of country exploring and of course, being spoiled rotten by grandma!

We woke up to a very beautiful scene- snow covered fields and trees. We took a walk into the woods where Niko reunited with his passion for snow.

We allow Niko off the leash when we're here. He still needs work in the "time to go inside the house" department. Although we get nervous about it, we have learned to allow him this freedom. It helps that he does not go very far without us. He stays by the perimeter of the house and remains within eyesight most of the time. I'm happy to report that during this weekend, he came inside on command more times than not. Progress is being made.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Day in Ithaca

This is a post about an excursion from this summer that I never got around to writing about until now. My family came up for a visit one weekend and we played host. Niko welcomed them with open paws. The only other times they have seen Niko is when we go to Brooklyn, where he is not really himself. My brother Matt warmed up to Niko and got to experience the real deal during his visit. 

We took a 45 minute drive to Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca for a hike. Ithaca has many beautiful waterfalls and gorges, formed by glaciers. I often see bumper stickers and t-shirts that read "Ithaca is Gorges" and this picture Matt took on the hike proves it:

The hike was uphill most of the way and got a bit intricate in some areas. Niko was on his leash. The park was busy that day with plenty of visitors. He cooled off by slurping on the water from the falls along the hike. We saw other dogs going knee deep and sticking their entire head in the water.

It was a lovely day.
Niko enjoyed the ride and having Matt accompany him in the backseat.  I get a kick whenever I capture a picture of Niko with his eyes closed, as pictured here.

Afterwards, we had lunch at the Commons and Niko fell upon some dog statues. He was confused and scared about them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The First Hoorah of Autumn

The weekend after our last hoorah of summer, we had our first hoorah of the Autumn season. The location was the Adirondacks, where the beautiful fall foliage was already starting to show. We were attending Ed's best friend's wedding at Inlet, NY. Ed had best man duties but we had plenty of free time to explore. We opted to stay at a "guided tent" at the inn the wedding took place instead of a regular room. Unlike our usual camping routine, we were "glamping" it on this trip. I borrowed that term from a show on I caught on the Travel Channel; it is a portmanteau for "glamorous camping". The tent was equipped with a comfy bed, basic furniture, heaters, a furnace, and it even had electricity. 

We had a private bathroom a few feet from the tent that was luxurious for normal standards (double shower heads?!). The inn did not allow pets, but the groom got special permission for his dog, Cabela. We were asked to keep her in our tent the night before the wedding. Niko stayed at a pet friendly motel with Ed's brother.
Coincidentally, on the day of the wedding, there was a special event going on in the small town of Inlet (population of 400).  The town was hosting an event called One Square Mile of Hope, an attempt to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the most boats floating on a lake. It was also an event to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, for the Cure for breast cancer research. We almost brought our kayaks to partake in the event, but didn't for various reasons. Fourth Lake was right in front of the inn and we watched from the shore. It sure was a lot of people, a reported 1,925 canoes and kayaks. Congratulations, Inlet, for beating the world record! 
A group of us decided to go on a hike that would take us to the top of a peak, in hopes of getting a birds eye view of the kayak and canoe laden lake. Niko and Cabela went along on their leashes. It was quite a challenging hike up the mountain. There was a light mist and the trail was muddy and slippery. When we reached the top, we were highly disappointed. There was a heavy fog and we couldn't see two feet in front of us, let alone the lake. We needed a rest, so we loitered there for a bit. Not too long into our break, the fog started to break. It was amazing to see the view in front of us slowly appear. To our surprise, most of the boats had dispersed by this time. We enjoyed the scenery anyway and I caught Niko sneaking a kiss with Cabela:

Cabela, Best Pet
After the hike, we separated Niko from his pal Cabela. Cabela had some important tasks ahead of her at her parents' wedding. She is an exceptionally well trained dog. She performed her ring bearer task right on cue and melted guests' hearts. At the reception, she held the basket during the dollar dance and didn't drop a penny. Cabela truly surpassed her title as Best Pet in the wedding party.

Although Niko didn't get our fullest attention this weekend, it still beat being home. Here he is sniffing the air and saying good bye to the good old Adirondacks. 
See you next summer. We can't wait to return.