The Loss of My Best Friend

Today I am bringing myself to actually write about my best friend, Alice, who I lost on Sunday. Alice was my 102 lb. Lab/ Catahoula leopard dog who at 11 1/2 years old left this world.

Alice never wanted anything but to be by me. She loved me unconditionally. She was the best girl. She never left my side when we were hiking or the campsite while camping. When David and I would pick berries or spruce tips she would just lay and watch us, move as we moved and never left my side. We were walking with her through a park one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass. Scared Alice to death and she went running for camp. Another time we were going to hike the trail to Five Fingers on the Yukon River in Canada. There were steep, long steps down to the trail. Alice got down about half way turned and said that is enough, ran back to the van. Trying to get her across a bridge over the Yukon River in Miles Canyon near Whitehose was really something. David pushed and I pulled. Once across she was fine and we went for a nice walk. Coming back we just thought this is going to be fun. She tricked us though and walked right across.

Alice was such a chicken. People would be afraid of her because she was big. They would hear her deep bark not knowing that she was hiding in the bedroom barking at them. She was a great protector if she could hide behind you. She was afraid of kitchens, bathrooms and floors without carpet. Oh yes, stairs can be scary too. In fact any change can be scary.

Alice helped me through my late husband’s, Baggy, 13 months of illness and his death. When the paramedics were on the way to our home I put her outside. As they worked on Baggy in the living room by the window she quietly watched. When it was time for them to take Baggy away, as they zipped the bag she started to bark and did so until they drove off. She was the one that helped me make it through this.

Alice moved with me from Texas to Washington to Alaska. Then our last move to York, Pennsylvania. She was a great traveler.

She was so good with the twin granddaughters. I used to laugh because every time Dan brought them over she would have to smell them and make sure they were the right ones, I guess. As they grew she would sit patiently until they finished eating so she could clean up their mess. If she did get tired of them she would just get up and go into the bedroom.

When we would get ready to go somewhere and Alice couldn’t go we could tell her, “No, Alice you have to stay.” Then she would mope off to her moping corner in our room. David said she reminded him of Eeyore.

Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of Alice falling against the wall next to my side of the bed. She then slipped down the wall and was laying down. I thought that was weird but she seemed to settle down. I went back to sleep for a while. I got up around 6 and went to start my morning routine, which the first thing was to let Alice out. She always follows me right to the door as soon as we are up. She didn’t follow. A little later she tried to get up and couldn’t. Her whole back end didn’t work.

We looked up vets online and found one that opened at 7:30. I called and they could get her in at 10. The next problem was how to get her in the back of our car. Luckily, we have a Subaru Outback so the backend opens up. But how would we get this 102 lb dog up the hill and into the car. Our son in law, Dan, and his Dad, Jim, came to help. I got her on a sheet and we brought in the girls’ wagon. We go her into the wagon, up the hill and into the car without stressing her out.

The vet couldn’t find anything really bad on the x-rays. Some arthritis but who of us don’t have that in our backs. I am thinking now it was a stroke. The vet says it could be. She says we could try a steroid shot and that if it helped we would be able to tell by Sunday. I agreed to let her have the shot, hoping it will help. We took her back home.

By now she has not been to the bathroom since Thursday night. David and I put a rolled towel under her to hold up her backend. We took her out but she didn’t do anything. She couldn’t pick up her tail and her legs just dragged behind her.

Saturday night wasn’t a good night for Alice. Sunday morning there was no change what so ever. I couldn’t let her suffer any more. I made the decision I had to make. The vet opened at 10. We were there with Alice when they opened. They got us in right away. They were so wonderful to us. Alice left this world knowing how loved she was. We were with her until the end.

I love you, Alice. I will never forget you and all you did for me. I hope you are sitting at Baggy’s side now watching over me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bertha One of the Butt Sisters

Who remembers this song? Troglodytes sung by The Jimmy Castor Bunch released in 1972 which was the year before I graduated high school . Guess I just told you my age but who cares it is just a number.  Well back to this song. You should check out this you tube

This blog is not about a song but about camping at Bertha Creek in Alaska for the weekend. We used to drive past this campground every time we went to Anchorage from Sterling. My late husband, Charlie, would start singing this song as we passed by Bertha Creek.  David, alive husband, and I do the same thing. We even named our truck Bertha. We decided that we were going camping there.  So when I picked up the grandkids from Sterling we drove through and Charlie even picked us out a campsite.  Oh yea, that is Charlie II, the grandson, not Charlie the dead husband.

Friday morning came and we all piled in the truck, three adults, two kids and one big dog. We headed out to Bertha Creek. We got up into Turnagain Pass we knew it wasn’t far now.  We saw the sign.! DSC_0176

Yea, we are here! Oh no, so are other people. There was no one here on Monday. As we made our way through the park, fingers crossed, we look for our perfect camping spot. We come around the bend and there it is, empty. We pull in to one side, so Heather and Dan can pull in next to us later tonight. Dusty sets up the tent for him and the kids.DSC_0129

Now it is time to head down to checkout the creek. To our surprise when we get down there we find a small waterfall.

Grandma and Grandpa took pictures of things like her feet,

grandpa even got his foot in there once, and grandma took pictures of the creek and Dusty playing with the kids there.

We all headed back for some lunch.  I found this cool picture to take there.

Yes a sap was taking a photo of sap. The next question; is it better to be a sap or a root?

I’m not sure. What do you think?

Well David and I decided to take a walk down some trails we had seen on the way in. We walked up to the fee area, this is Federal so it is only $14 a night and $7 if you have your gold pass which we have. DSC_0149

Bear country! Oh, no! I always get a kick out of these signs because I think all of Alaska is bear country.  When they are walking through the subdivisions all the time in Anchorage, the largest city in the state, wouldn’t you say it is all bear country.

David decided to check out the pump and see if it was still working and it was. We then continued on with our walk.

Yes, we found Bertha Creek. This is where it empties into this river whose name no one seems to know.  I will find out some how.

We then headed back to camp and sat by the fire for a while with a beer. Dusty and the kids came back from their walk. They told us about a bench up on top of the hill by our camp with a great view. We went there the next morning.

Everybody brought back a little firewood.  We sure didn’t want to run out because how could we drink our beer without a fire.

Anyway they also told us about another trail on the other side of the highway.  They said they saw some people panning for gold, well they had sluice boxes. I guess you would say they were looking for gold. We all thought that would be fun to do after lunch. So as we were eating one of the kids goes come look at these worms.  Reighly  already had a pet green worm she named catty but it had got away. It fell off her finger.  We all go to have a look and this is what we saw.

We watch them all weekend as they slowly eat away the leaf.

Now our next adventure across the road and up the trail. First we stop at this bridge that goes nowhere. You can smell the creosote, so you know it is new. You cross the bridge and see a road for maybe 100 ft then nothing. Oh well the mystery road I guess or should I say bridge.

Across the highway we go. The first thing we come across is this cool firepit.DSC_0178

The gold miners were all gone, so we had the whole area to ourselves which was nice. We all went exploring.

As we are walking on the trail we saw blueberries. David and I decided to come back the next morning and pick some while the kids were asleep. We got up and went picking on Sunday. Alice got a little bored. She doesn’t think standing in one area for a while is hiking.  I guess she doesn’t know the difference in hiking and picking.DSC_0219

Well we thought it was worth getting rained on. The Picking Was Good!

While we were there we got some nice mushrooms photos.  Never thought I would be looking for mushrooms for a photo op.

We also got some nice flower photos.

The rain stopped before we left, so the tent got to dry out before it got packed up. We packed up and headed home.DSC_0130

Good-Bye Bertha Creek.DSC_0223

I guess I should let everyone know that the Flat Ole Hippies couldn’t come with us because they had other plans.  Hopefully, they can come with us next weekend. We are planning to go to Seward if all goes well.

Thanks for reading!

How Come Relaxing Makes You Tired?

I don’t understand how I can have a relaxing weekend out camping.  I slept great and went for a nice walk. I sat by the campfire and played games at the table.  It was such a nice, quiet weekend.  We got home and the boys helped me unpack the camper which was not hard because I have it set up for the summer now. I came upstairs and sat down to work on my pictures when I fell asleep and didn’t wake up for 4 hours.  By then it was after 8.  We stayed up a while longer then went to bed to read.  That is my excuse for not blogging yesterday.

Today I finally just got the photos done from the camping trip.  Which was on my list, so I checked it off.  I am liking this list thing because I seem to be getting a lot more done.  There are several things I didn’t get done today, so they will move on to tomorrow.

I hope you enjoy the photos of our camping trip to Kings River, Alaska.  We will be going back here in the fall to pick berries. There are lots of 4 wheeler trails if you have one.  People are always out there riding.  There a quiet a few that just come for the day.  This isn’t a regular campground like with outhouses and conveniences. It is just where people have camping for years.  In the fall it isn’t only good for berries, it is also good for hunting. With all the 4 wheeler trails they can get back in there and get a moose.

 

Of course, my chicken dog, Alice, was with us.  She loves camping.  She will get into the water a little and she loves going on hikes.  One thing she does that I think is funny she always pees in the water. Alice, shocked us when the dogs from another campsite came over to visit and she didn’t run.  She actually let them smell her and she smelt thing.  I believe they became friends.  When Bogart got there, he kept trying to go make friends and we would call him back when he started sneaking off.  He did get away with it a couple of times. Alice would let us know by barking every time he would start working is way out of the camp.  It was pretty funny her telling on him.

Today was my weigh in day.  I lost 1.2lbs. That was good because I think the beers may have been a little over my carb intake should have been.  At least I lost and I still feel good about this diet.  I made us lettuce taco’s tonight and we like it.

Well I am off for today.  Hope everyone has a good night.