Oh, The Places This Blind Dog Goes!

Today is National Dog Day and I’m taking this opportunity to showcase all the fantastic places my poor blind dog has gone in the last few months. Being blind hasn’t stopped her from enjoying hikes, national parks, and camping. I bought one of those doggie carrier backpack things a few months back so that she could come on all of my hikes with me and I wouldn’t have to hold her if she got tired or the terrain was rough. Yes, I’m one of those people now. She didn’t like it at first but once she wore herself out she decided it was the best thing ever!

Miya in her backpack.

Miya in her backpack.

Her first hike that involved the pack was huckleberry picking in Pattee Canyon. The path was nice and even with very few obstacles so she was able to walk all the way to our berry picking location. Once there I placed her in the pack since we were going off-trail and the bushes were about shin high. She wasn’t having that and completely wore herself out trampling all the bushes in sight, including the ones I was trying to pull berries off of.

She made it to the trail and that's as far as she goes.

She made it back to the trail and that’s as far as she went.

Next I met my mom for a quick weekend camping trip near Bighorn National Park. She was completely worn out by the end even though she spent most of the time either riding in the car or hanging out at the campsite. I was still able to get a good picture of her before she stumbled into the tent and crashed.

Cheese!

Cheese!

And scene.

And scene.

Finally, I took her to Morrell Falls by Seeley Lake. First of all, if you ever get the chance to visit Salmon Lake, do so. We simply drove by it on our way to the falls and it was absolutely stunning! I’m hoping I get the chance to spend time there before winter. Morrell Falls was not ideal for my blind dog as there were many tree roots sticking up and large rocks to step around. Miya spent 90% of the time in the backpack which she was fine with after stumbling along the path for the first quarter mile.

The noise didn't impress her in the least.

The noise didn’t impress her in the least.

This coming weekend I plan on hiking back up to the “M” on Mount Sentinel then continuing on to the summit and Miya will be tagging along the entire way, either by foot or by pack. It’s been three years since I adopted her and I love that she’s still willing to come with me on adventures even though she can’t see. Not only does she impress me but I’m usually stopped by at least three people asking about her and giving her loads of attention.

I hope all of you out there with pups of your own found some way to celebrate them today. Me? I bought mine a small fry for dinner.

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A Change in Lifestyle

A few years back I put on quite a bit of weight in response to a large amount of stress. I’m sure many people out there can relate. I’ve always hated being one of those people that eats when stressed, and yet I can’t seem to stop. Now I’m actively trying to remove said weight and I find that it’s a much harder task than it used to be.

I’m in a position now where I can adjust my eating habits and I even joined a local gym. My plan is to (mostly) follow the clean eating lifestyle while getting off my bum and working out. This seems like a fool-proof plan until I get one of those stupid cravings for things like cookies. Or brownies. Or McDonalds. This happens more than I care to admit, though I am pleased to report that the cravings seem to be dwindling.

With this new fancy lifestyle, I’m having to learn how to prepare, cook, and eat new foods. For example, tonight I tried quinoa. Pronounced not at all like it looks, I was pretty sure it was going to be gross and weird and feel like eating bugs. If you haven’t seen cooked quinoa before, google it. It looks like little curly bugs. Anyways, from all of the research I’ve done it’s actually quite healthy and recommended over rice and pasta so I thought I’d give it a go. After cooking it, which was surprising easy, I tried it with a chicken and black bean concoction. It was actually pretty good, although I may have been a little too excited when using the sriracha sauce.

There are plenty of other things on the clean eating list that I’ll be trying for the first time. I’m excited to get started and I’m hoping they all are just as tasty. I will have to make time between working, writing, and exercising to actually prepare these meals from scratch, though. If anyone has any meal-planning experience or advice, please let me know!

I’m going to leave you with this cute picture of my poor blind dog because it would be selfish of me not to.

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The Story of Cat

I did a blog post a month or so ago with a story about the many trials and tribulations of my poor blind dog. I thought I would also let everyone get to know my old grumpy cat as well. She is actually not so grumpy in her old age, or at least not towards people. She seems to have a vendetta against the dog, though.

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My cat’s name is Kiki, or Kitty when she isn’t listening, or Cat when she’s in trouble. Not original, I know, but it was the only thing she would respond to so I went with it. I estimate that she is about 13 years old so I’ve had her for about 11 years now. She doesn’t have quite the fantastic story as the dog does. She’s in general good health, has had a stable-ish home (I’ve moved quite a bit over the years), and always has food and water (though heaven forbid she can see the bottom of the food bowl). Image

She loves draping, whether it’s on furniture or people. She drapes all four paws off the side and gets really flat along her back. It’s actually pretty impressive given her size. 

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She’s about 5 pounds larger than the dog. And she always looks angry in pictures. She’s honestly very friendly, I swear. I do seem to get the feeling on occasion that she’s simply humoring me until I feed her, though. As far as typical cat behavior goes, she seems to have missed the memo. She doesn’t care about window sills or boxes, she hates canned cat food, and is very picky about cat treats in general. She does, however, like canned dog food, paper on the floor, and the dog kennel if she thinks Miya was headed in there. Brat.

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She’s a goober but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. She handles traveling really well, although she doesn’t like the car as much as she did before I drove 60 miles in 65+ MPH wind gusts. I think it may have traumatized her a little. Now I get the song of her people screamed at me off and on throughout the trip. Lucky me. I guess it could be worse.

I try not to think about how both animals are up there in age, but they are. Until then I figure I’ll spoil them both. I was told that the cat had gained a pound since her visit to the vet last year and was told to put her on a diet consisting of mainly canned cat food. Well, she doesn’t eat canned cat food. Plus, her food intake is regulated which means she’s most likely stealing dog food when I’m not home. Honestly, though, she’s old and in good health. I’m going to let her steal the food and be fat if she wants to.