Monday, August 18, 2014

Family Affair

By Thursday we were exhausted. Tired of riding in the car, tired of tourism, just tired. It had been an emotional last few weeks and the excitement of exploring while on vacation had us. The kids and I needed down time and time spent with our hands on our Kolby. This would be our last day before going to Canine Companions for the Matriculation Celebrations and the dreaded return.
My husband, the amazing photographer, knew that this was a day that we needed alone, and took the time to head out on a photography adventure of his own. It worked well as he could get the morning shots he was looking for and enjoy the scenery at a photographer's pace. He is such a good supporter in this journey.
Meanwhile, the kids and I took Kolby to the hotel pool. I was so tempted to take off Kolby's vest and let him swim with us in the pool. But I didn't. Instead I made a cute tent out of pool towels and chairs and offered some shade in the summer California Sun for our buddy. He slept and slept and slept while we played and played and played in the water. It was so nice to be alone with him poolside (we didn't see a single person other than ourselves - it was perfect), getting in our loves and chats.
That evening we were treated to a beautiful and very happy dinner party at Kolby's Breeder Caretaker's house. It was lovely and perfect. The husband and wife team were very thoughtful and spoiled their Puppy Raisers of Kolby's litter; us and another couple that raised Kolby's sister, who was also turning in at the same location.
It is hard to say if Kolby remembered his mom and sister, or if he was just excited to see other dogs and get the chance to play. The dogs were in puppy-heaven getting to run and play and chase and wrestle and chew bones and play ball, and run and play and chase and wrestle and chew bones and play ball, and run .... they did eventually lay still when commanded, but we didn't torture them with too long of a Down Stay. Just enough for everyone to catch their breath! (the cute little yellow puppy is Kolby's half brother, his mom had her second litter of puppies since Kolby and his siblings left home).
When it was time to say goodbye and return to the hotel for our final sleep, it hit me. This was really going to happen. And with that - we snuggled up with Kolby on the bed - who was dog tired!!! and went to sleep. At one point Kolby found his way up to my girl's and my face and snuggled in tight before it was time to wake up. I am positive he knew that this trip was something special, because why else was he invited up on the bed?!
The next morning came way too quickly. I left Kolby on the bed with my girl while I took my shower and got ready for the big day. When I returned to the room all I could see was the silhouette of Kolby looking at me, and then I knew that this was the start of our goodbyes.

*for the record, a Puppy in Program is allowed to sleep on the bed with his/her person only if they are invited to do so. No jumping nor sleeping on the bed is allowed if volunteered by the puppy. I can proudly say that Kolby has slept with us enough to know bed manners and he is just so darn adorable. He snuggles well and holds still all night long, with only an occasional jimmy-leg when he dreams of chasing happy playmates. 

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