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.

photo-2

A Summer in Missoula!

Well, it looks like I’ll get to stay here in Missoula until at least the beginning of August. The hospital here extended my contract again to help cover for several changes they will be implementing. I’m not going to argue because there is so much to do here during the summer that I didn’t want to miss. Things such as…

Glacier National Park, for one. I was so worried that I was going to miss out on seeing the park that I was willing to drive up and look around as best I could in just one day. Now I”ll have the opportunity to really see the park and hopefully spend a day or two there. I’m told it’s something you don’t want to miss and will never forget. I even have an offer from a coworker to show me around if our schedules allow. She used to be a guide up there and knows all the cool back trails.

Floating the river! I haven’t done that in years and, even though I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to sunlight, I’m willing to buck up for this! Even if I have to buy out the sunblock at Walmart.

Testicle Festival. That’s right, I said testicle festival. It’s actually a thing and man, am I intrigued. A friend told me about it a month or two ago and I thought she was joking until I passed about five billboards advertising it on the way out of town. I’m not entirely sure what it’s about but here is a link to their website, testyfesty.com. I can’t make this up, people.

Fulfilling my beer card at the Rhinoceros bar so I can get a free t-shirt. As my friends and family know, I will do almost anything for a free t-shirt. This beer card requires me to drink all 50 of their draft beers, not in one night or even in one month so it’s definitely doable. Luckily, I like beer and I’m not a beer snob so I’ll try all kinds. If I don’t like it, I can generally find someone to pass it off to.

I’m sure there are a lot more things that I’m either forgetting or haven’t discovered yet. I’m definitely open to suggestions if anyone has any!