Spiders and Snakes and Bears… Oh My!

So different part of the province means different flora and fauna…I get it. It’s not like Hecla didn’t have spiders and snakes and ticks and bears…….it did have spiders but different spiders. It had snakes but I only ever saw 1 in my site. Ticks yes but not a lot. And bears were not around much cause the only way into Hecla is a long causeway over the marshy lake.

So far here….. 3 snakes, two snapping turtles (laying eggs on the side of the road in the campground), spiders are so big I’ve named them and we hang out…..and the bears. They are present and like roaming the campground. Had one coming into my site a couple weekends ago! That was exciting! I was just sitting out reading my book, I heard a noise and looked up….

There was an adolescent black bear about 30 to 40 feet from me. I stood up and waved my arms over mg head and yelled “GIT BEAR!” And he startled and ran back.

The owners chase the bears and shoot off the bear banger and the 12 gauge to scare them off but they come back. So far harmless but still we all must be bear-smart! They’re hungry cause all this heat and no rain has depleted all the wild berries. There is also a mother and a cub so do NOT ever get in the way of a momma bear and her babies! I thought I was a fierce protective momma!! Woo-wee!

Anyway, we have cut out the hiking cause trails are dry and most are closed to keep the risk of human caused forest fires down!! Also, I don’t want to tempt the bears with two little white furry snacks!

So, are you worried that I don’t like the new site because of these distractions…..NOT a chance!!! I absolutely love the new camp! My site is perfectly shaded from this unbearable (hahaha) heat! There have been days where it’s 37°C out in the clear open sites and my site is only 28-30°! Still quite warm but tolerable! Thank you trees!

Game changers I never realised changed the camping game SO much….

Electricity

Water hook up

Port-a-Potty

Mini Bar Fridge

Having an electrical hook up has been a real perk! I had a solar panel to change my battery and that has been great for 5 seasons but I’m always aware of the limited power. So lights and fans are used sparingly. Now I have electricity I can use the lights! I can plug in the kettle! I can have a little mini fridge! More on that…

Water hook up!! I have my own water tap! Cold delicious drinkable fresh well water! Makes it so easy to fill my camper water jug right there and not have to lift it out! Water my flowers! Oh yeah, I have flowers!

Part of the COVID rules are that you must be “self contained”! Meaning outhouses are locked so you must have you’re own facilities!! I did not have this option with my little camper so I had to buy a potty. And get a little “hygiene/shower tent”. The “tinkle tent” or “sh*t shelter” as I refer to it! This weekend I’m installing a pallet floor and a shower bag! You learn during a heat wave that sometimes it’s good to wash some stink off!!

And back to the mini bar fridge! Huge difference! I can bring salad and it won’t spoil! Strawberries don’t get fuzzy and rotten after a day!! Some foods just don’t do well no matter how great the cooler is. And there is always a cold beverage waiting for me when I get there!

And I think, I’m not sure, but I think the fur littles are content……

You tell me?

What I’m saying is…..

We are loving this new site. We love the campground. The people are nice and friendly!

We were forced to make a change and it worked out better than I could have ever hoped for!

We are still happy campers!

Hope Summer is treating you well!

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton 🐾

Birthdays, Camping, Consistency & Yoga

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First, my first born, Daisy…..well she turned 15 on June 12th….I’m a little late getting back to this draft!

We were at the camper of course so to celebrate the day we went for a nice long hike!! It was a pretty warm day but with a great breeze so the heat was balanced out. I took a nice big insulated water bottle and a compact water dish so we were all able to stop in the shade and get plenty of hydration!

There’s a couple bears in the area so we made sure to make noise and I kept the fur littles on their leashes! I don’t approve of the extension leashes as a regular walking leash but on a hike like this they’re handy to give the dogs some freedom to explore but still have them attached to me. Also, I didn’t know the trail at all so I didn’t want them ahead of me!

Let’s talk about camping…. The new site is pretty great and the private campground is quite cozy. Plus, the owners drive around in their golf cart on hot afternoons with a cooler and offer us ice cream! This is a perk for me since frozen treats are not something my tent camper can sustain! My Yeti cooler is great but it’s not going to keep ice cream frozen!

We’ve really settled in to our new camp summer home….. I was anxious about “new” and “change” as these are not usually my thing!! But it’s been real easy to adjust because it’s just a lovely place!

And most importantly the fur littles love it!

There is a memo that dogs have to be well behaved and we all know Wheaton can have some issues when he sees another dog… so I’ve been working with him and the training treat bag. When we go for a walk I reward him with a little treat or piece of kibble when we walk past a site where there’s another dog.

I will give him a “shhishh” and distract with “here” and he looks at me & the treat….followed by a “good boy”. The bark is what we want to avoid first. Tackling the biggest hurdle first. I know it can work….and it’s not Wheaton’s fault we haven’t mastered this technique…..

It’s mine. I’m not consistent. I just don’t think of it! Or it’s not convenient when we’re walking before or after work. Training isn’t just one walk. It’s every walk. Every walk is a training opportunity but I’m missing 9/10 walks! Not good stats.

My general way of thinking with his barking at other dogs is “that’s what he does, it’s been 6 years, this is just the way he is” keep walking and just get past the other dog.

I know! Brilliant! Great technique! Watch for my expert dog training video soon!! (Haha)

But I don’t want to be that “annoying woman with the crazy dog” that everyone hates in the campground. And the crazy dog part is my responsibility! I must be consistent with this reward for good behaviour technique. Period.

Of course I left the handy training bag at the camper.

I think I need the training!

And then the yoga. Wheaton loves yoga. He thinks it’s cuddle time when I get on the mat! If I’m moving from pose to pose he just watches but as soon as I sit still he wants to come in for a cuddle.

All in all, summer is just starting and it’s pretty great!

Be well,

Jenn, Daisy and Wheaton

Sunning ourselves!

Camping – New & Different

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In February I got the letter from the Manitoba Parks campground draw that I did NOT get a campsite at Hecla. Our sacred site for 5 consecutive seasons would not be ours this summer.

Hecla set up

No more private path to the lake for our early morning shoreline walks and rock collecting. No more wine in hand late evening sunset views over the lake. No more sound of the Lake Winnipeg waves lulling us to sleep. No more Rusty Nails around the campfire with my “Hecla camping family”.

Our sitting rock
Sunsets over Lake Winnipeg
Early morning shore walks and all those rocks
Hecla hikes

Panic set in. What if I don’t get to camp??? Because of Covid and travel restrictions, the number of people wanting to camp has pretty much tripled! The reservation site for day bookings crashed. And when it wasn’t crashing, the wait to confirm bookings was hours long.

Our last Hecla campfire of 2020

After my 3 minute cry upon reading my letter that I didn’t make the draw, I was Googling “private Manitoba campgrounds”. I knew a few people who over the years had changed from public provincial seasonal to private seasonal….at a much higher cost but the perk of never having to take the chance with a camping draw ever again.

I found one that I liked. Not an easy task as many private campgrounds are very much “parking lot” style; side by side sites where your neighbour is close. I don’t like that….in fact I’d rather not camp at all if that is my only option. I don’t camp for socialising. I am an anti-social camper. I want trees and birds chirping. I want quiet and serene. I will always take the farthest site from people.

Wheaton likes the quiet camp life too

I sent them an email to find out if they had an opening.

Universe was on our side. They had a site. One of their more private sites even. Universe was REALLY on our side.

We made it. We’re camping. And we are forever camping. This site is ours for as long as as we want…..we’re lifers here now. No applications, no draws, no picking sites and hoping to get one of your “top 5” sites. It truly is ours every season.

The site viewing
Gnome Sweet Gnome

I set up last weekend. The fur littles and I settled in and there are pros and cons in comparison. Where we don’t have our lakeshore we instead have a wandering windy lazy river to walk the bank of and we have a chance to find new forest trails to hike. Instead of sunsets through the pines and birches we now face east and can watch the sun rise through the oaks & ashes. Instead of 2.5 hours of driving to get to our camp it’s only an hour, definite pro!

Our new site set up

We all settled right back into camp life as if we had not missed a step and as if this place was home all along. My little four legged campers are happy! The site is all sand so the digging and sand zoomies are non stop! I don’t know what it is about sand that makes them so excited but it is hilarious to watch! And the napping after is a given!

Right back to where they left off

Can’t wait for the leaves to grow in and give us a bit more privacy! It’s going to be a great place for many seasons to come!

Sibling Love

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Wheatie loves his Daisy. He is bonded to her. I often kid that Daisy is our emotional support companion, neither of us can function without her. Wherever she is, Wheaton is never far from her. I have tried to take him for a run with me and he will NOT go without Daisy.

For Wheatie it was love at first sight, for Daisy it was “who is this stinky boy dog and when is he leaving!?”

He’s not staying is he?

Of course you all know she came around and she does love him. They are best buds and bonded to one another. I love my fur littles. I love seeing them look for each other and seek comfort with one another.

My loves.

They bring me great comfort and an abundance of love. I would be lost without them.

Just Chillin

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Cuddle bugs.

Snoring, snorts and whimper barks.

I love when they cuddle up and start dreaming.

I wonder if they dream the same? Are they both running in the field chasing bunnies? Maybe in the forest on one of our many hikes? Or running wild down the beach digging in the sand and barking at the waves crashing on the shore? Is one dreaming of chasing the other?

All I know is that I love these beasts more than anything in the world. They are my everything.

Almost Toothless Now…

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Last 4 teeth; two bottom molars and two bottom “fangs”. Not that Wheatie ever chewed his food but his chewing days are pretty much done now.

Another big dental bill….thank goodness for Visa. My poor boy with a mouth full of stitches and probably a very sore jaw. The vet office called when he came out of surgery, they said he was a trooper and he would be in recovery for a few hours.

Then they called an hour later to tell me that he was barking and howling the song of his people…..he wanted his momma and he wanted to go home!! Hahaa. I finished up my work and Daisy and I left to go pick him up. He was doped up but ready to leave the vet clinic!!

As usual he wanted to eat as soon as we got home, sore mouth or not he hates to miss a meal! Once he ate a little he settled in for major snuggles. I could tell he was needing some love cause he came up and not only snuggled but then he fell asleep on my chest while we watched tv. Passed out and was snoring away, snuggled in with me under the blanket.

The amazing thing about Wheaton is that he doesn’t get too bummed out about stuff…. sore mouth, whatever, he just keeps on chugging along. He rubbed his face a bit and pawed and smacked his lips but he kept playing and eating and going for all his walks without missing a beat.

Still my goofball!

It’s been just over a week now. We’ve been back for a check up to make sure everything is healing well. He’s perfect. Healing nicely, stitches are almost completely dissolved. He is not bothered by anything going on in his mouth now. With only 4 teeth left, and the roots are what they call “hooked” so they can’t be pulled without probably breaking his jaw….we are done with dental. We gotta do what we can to take care of the 4 teeth left!

A few days later he got all bathed and groomed. Cleaned up and recovered. Such a handsome fella!

He is so loved. My boy. My handsome.

Dogs are Fun!

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Hi, my name is Wheaton and I like to do all sorts of fun things like;

– step in front of my Momma mid-step when she has her big snow boots on and almost trip her and get my paw stepped on and then have to go to the vet for X-rays

– have dirty rotten teeth and gingivitis even though Momma sticks that horrible toothbrush thing in my mouth all the time and gives me chewies to try and make my teeth clean

– use the same tactic of pawing my Momma in the face for everything so she can’t tell what it is I want and then when she doesn’t understand that I need to pee….so I pee on the pillow we’re using

– be super handsome and lovable so that even though I do this stuff that could upset my Momma she just keeps loving me and hugging me and laughing at my silly ways

This is me holding my sore paw up
This is my sister Daisy wondering where I went when I had to go into the vet by myself for X-rays! Momma and Daisy had to wait for me…I was a bit scared but I was good for all the nice vet staff!
I’m so handsome! My Momma tells me everyday!

* I’d like all our readers to know that Wheaton’s paw was just a mild sprain and some soft tissue bruising (I’m still recovering from knowing I stepped on his foot and hurt him).

* The teeth….oh the teeth….as anyone who has read our past posts you’ve seen other entries regarding Wheatie’s dental issues! He’ll be going for another dental surgery in early February cleaning and scaling and probably more extractions!

* And as for the puddle of pee that I experienced while reading my book in the “splash” zone…..I have learned that if he paws me in the face “do you have to pee” is now something I need to ask! Also, shame on me for not paying attention to the fact that he drank a ton of water after we had our bedtime walk that night!! Usually the pawing is because he wants to cuddle and I’m reading or scrolling or Netflixing!! Oops!

Not very exciting. We haven’t been on any adventures this month. Did witness a gorgeous sun dog on our morning walk this past Sunday…..it was pretty outstanding! Beauty truly is all around!

Take care, stay safe & cozy!

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

We Made The Best of 2020

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Let’s just start this off with saying…… It wasn’t a normal year by any means and it had many difficult moments. Thankfully our family and close friends have all been okay. And by okay I mean frazzled stressed isolated depressed anxious and on their last nerve but not sick. This is where we knock on wood.

Positives….. camping season was not cancelled. We were limited in visiting with our seasonal campground “family” so campfire socialising wasn’t a regular even but. to be honest, as an introvert the social distancing isn’t a big jump for me. Actually that’s probably why I haven’t had an overly difficult time with the isolation. I usually just want to chill with Daisy & Wheaton!

We hiked & we camped just as we always do….. this helped tremendously.

There were some downsides. I would have enjoyed seeing my nephew nugget more, FaceTime visiting just isn’t the same. I miss hugs. Yes. Hugs. I may be an introvert but when I’m around my peeps I tend to hug. Wheaton did his best to help me through this……

Hugging my leg while he naps
Needing his Momma
More lap snuggles
Wheatie asking for more loves

He’s a big comfort when I need hugs.

Perhaps this year didn’t break me because I go to weekly therapy sessions and was able to work through some of my corona anxiety and depression and frustration?

Thank you therapy.

What I’m saying is that we did our best to make the best of the crappy year we were dealt. On the cusp of the end of 2020 we hope y’all can find some positives to the last 12 months too. Even if you have to dig deep, please try to end this evening with gratitude and joy.

A 2020 morning sunbeam

With love, kindness and warm hugs,

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

Heal Me and I’ll Heal You…

My boy is a healer. He knows just the right moment and just what I need before I know that’s what I needed.

Last night we went to bed early, I was just so exhausted and feeling a bit empty. Just blah.

Wheaton and Daisy always sleep cuddled up with me. Wheaton likes to nestle in up against my side with his head in the crook of my armpit and then I rest my hand on him and rub his belly. Daisy curls up in the nook between my neck & shoulder and I feel her breath and hear her little sleepy snores and snorts.

There was such comfort in feeling Wheatie stretch his warm little body tight against my side. With every stretch he lets out a sigh and burrows his head into my armpit crook a little more. He relaxes me. He soothes me. He comforts me. All of this in the quiet bedtime cuddle.

So even though the Netflix show was over and my eyes were heavy and my arm was falling asleep I stayed just like that…… grateful for this moment and wanting time to stand still.

Daisy’s sleepy snores in my ear and her breath against my neck. Wheaton pushing himself against me so I know he’s there and he’s comforting me.

Sleeping Daisy
Sleeping Wheaton

Our animal companions are so special, aren’t they. We are so lucky. I’m blessed to have these two little fur babies. My gratitude is over and ever flowing.

I waited for Wheaton to stir, and then I slowly rolled onto my side for my regular sleep position. He pushed up against my back. Daisy, against my shoulder & neck, hardly moved. The troubles of the day/week/month melted away and sleep took over.