Counting Down to Alaska and Marking an Anniversary 4/30/17

When I pull up our upcoming land/sea tour of Alaska on the Princess Cruises website it tells me we are 11 days away from our adventure!  I’ve been doing some “special items” shopping this week – things like those wonderful three ounce containers of shampoo, toothpaste, and hairspray – and a trip to the shoe store for a comfortable pair of walking shoes,.  The first few days of our trip will be spent in Fairbanks and then on to Denali National Park.  The Weather Channel says we can look for highs in the upper 60’s there.  But, when we reach our sea cruise port (Whittier), and I look at weather around the cities where we’ll be stopping, the Weather Channel is saying highs in the 40’s and 50’s!  It looks like we’ll be taking a few more layering items than we thought at first, but hey – I’m going to be a happy camper to have a couple of weeks of cooler weather.  It’s been HOT and muggy here for the last few days – you know, that sauna type of heat!

Along with prep for the trip we’ve stayed busy with some fun activities in the neighborhood.

Our next door neighbor’s precious granddaughter Mila celebrated her one year birthday with a Mermaid party!

A grand time was had by all, but especially little Mila, who knew exactly what to do with her smash cake!

Another celebration in Sunset Inlet was for neighbors’ daughter Ashley, who graduated from the University of Florida yesterday. Her parents hosted a wonderful party as a send-off for her tour of Europe with two college friends. The elevator in their home was decorated as a photo booth – sooo cute!

We spent some of today clearing out our dining room and moving the chairs, table and huge china cabinet down to the garage (with the help of neighbor Mark). AmVets will pick it up on Monday, and on Tuesday our new dining room furniture arrives. That set was 36 years old, and we just thought it was time since it looked like it was from another era in history – and it was!

Another awesome drone photo from neighbor Bob of Sunset Inlet at night!

MACKINAC NEWS

More and more horses are arriving, and when the horse numbers increase, so do the bales of hay to feed them. The hay comes over on the ferry, is loaded onto a dray and driven up to the horse barns. There it is moved to a conveyer belt which lifts it into the upper level of the barn. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Horses aren’t the only means of transportation arriving on Mackinac! The Grand Hotel golf carts that are used on the Jewel Golf Course came over on the freight boat this week and got a police escort through town and up Cadotte to the Golf Pro Shop across from the Grand. (Photo: Kellie Lawrence)

Wildflowers are peeking up above ground in the woods! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

An awesome photo by Tom Chambers of a dray coming up Mission Hill.  The sign says it all!

Grand Hotel held its soft opening this weekend. The second half of the 660-foot porch was renovated during the winter. . . .

and the already splendid venue for rocking and viewing the Straits of Mackinac is even more beautiful as she stands now.

MARKING A PASSING

On Monday, May 1, we mark the first anniversary of the passing of our beautiful Bear.  I remember that day in still vivid flashbacks – a day of retching heartbreak and tears I felt would never end.  All I still have to do is think about my sweet boy, and I will instantly tear up and usually have myself a good cry.

So, six months ago . . . I set out to find another Bear.

It’s taken me quite a while to admit that.  Oh, I said I just loved the breed and wanted another golden retriever.  But what I really wanted was another Bear – quiet, sweet, eager to please, obedient, and calm.  That’s what I wanted.

But what I got was Bodie – a dog determined NOT to be Bear.  He was (and to some extent still is) an excited-to-be-alive, chewing, gobbling-up-anything-in-sight, bouncing, zooming-through-the-house-at-full-run, can’t-wait-to-jump-in-the-car-and-go-somewhere dynamo.  He tries my patience nearly every day, loves to sneak in the closet and see what I’ve left on the floor for him to steal, and his favorite game is to take a tennis ball and roll it UNDER any piece of furniture where it will fit.  Why? Because he knows I will have to get up and rescue it for him – which might mean I can be coerced into a game of fetch.  If that doesn’t work, and I go sit back down, he will just paw the ball back under another low table or couch.  Eventually I get the message.

I know for the first few months Bodie thought his name WAS Bear.  That is what Ted and I both called him.  That’s just what came out of our mouths.  It was always “Bear! I mean Bodie!”, followed by “No, Stop, Don’t, Quit, Get Down, Get OFF!”  You get my drift.

Slowly though, this dog-determined-not-to-be-Bear barreled his way into our hearts.  It was almost as though he knew if he acted like Bear we would always think of him as Bear – and he was determined to be loved on his own terms.  In the last couple of months he has turned a corner, and we are beginning to see the adult dog he will become.  He loves exuberantly, plays flat out, and thinks sticking his entire snout into his water bowl and blowing bubbles all over the floor is a real hoot.  But he also comes when he’s called, sits, stays, lies down, backs up, waits before digging into his food, and heels by my side off-leash from our front door all the way out to the end of the intracoastal dock and back home.  He jumps into the car whenever the door is opened and loves to ride anywhere.  He’s still a little nuts when he meets people or other dogs, but hey nobody’s perfect.

I say all that to say this.  I will forever in my heart love Bear – he was beautiful, noble, kind, and an old soul even at an early age.  He was the dog I needed at the time I had him.

But if Bodie had been another Bear, I would be sitting on the couch reading or binge watching Netflix, and eating bon-bons every day.  Bodie  gets me outside for long walks, he keeps me hopping physically and mentally (trying to stay one step ahead of him), and his goof-ball antics make me laugh out loud at least 10 times a day.  His sunny outlook on life helps me have one too.

Bodie is the dog I needed now.  I love him differently than I loved Bear, but I absolutely love him no less.  He hasn’t taken Bear’s place in my heart, but he owns a piece of my heart I didn’t even know was there.  It is Bodie’s place, and he will hang out there for as long as God allows us to be together.

I hope that’s a long, long time.

My sweet Bear

My Bodie boy

 

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21 thoughts on “Counting Down to Alaska and Marking an Anniversary 4/30/17

  1. Brenda you certainly have a way with words! That just touched my ❤️ In more ways then one . 😥

    On a lighter note… I can’t wait to hear all About your cruise. You two are gonna have a great time! 😎

  2. We are so excited, Hilde. The hardest part is having to leave the pooches for two weeks, but I totally trust our petsitter to take good care of them.

  3. Precious words of love for Bodie. Y’all have a wonderful time in Alaska. You’ll want to MOVE there, I promise! Beautiful beyond words.

  4. Tears, tears, and more tears. I still have a soft spot for your Bear. Our Bear is having some arthritis issues and he turned 12 this month. He is doing fairly well but we realize sometime we will have to say goodbye. Hopefully not for awhile.

    OK, I am done with the tears! I can’t wait for the first Bodie stories from Mackinac! He will be the talk of the island! LOL! We hope you and Ted have a great vacation to Alaska!

    Hugs from Iowa!

    • Yvonne, is your Bear on these –
      Nutramax Dasuquin Soft Chews Joint Health Large Dog Supplement. If not, Google them. They were recommended to me by Bear’s orthopedic surgeon and they made an amazing difference to his mobility. They are pricey but worth every penny.

  5. Reading your story about your boys made me teary eyed. We all are truly blessed for our fur babies from the past and the present.

  6. funny how dogs walk in your life and are just what you need whether you know it or not. we are family with our dogs, thats for sure. everyone has a purpose, everyone contributes.

  7. Yes I’m crying as I thought the world of Bear but also am crying as I am so happy Bodie came into your life at the right time. I can’t wait to meet him!/Tam

    On Sunday, April 30, 2017, Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog wrote:

    > bree1972 posted: “When I pull up our upcoming land/sea tour of Alaska on > the Princess Cruises website it tells me we are 11 days away from our > adventure! I’ve been doing some “special items” shopping this week – > things like those wonderful three ounce containers of shampo” >

  8. Lovely tribute to both your Goldens, and to your ever-expanding heart.
    I can’t wait to hear about your trip to Alaska! It’s one of the things Roger has talked about, so I’m anxious to hear if you enjoy it as much as I’ve heard that others did. Hope so! and a break from hot and humid is exactly what I’d want, too.

  9. Although I had never met Bear, he reminded me so much of our golden “Lacy Girl” that I always felt I had a connection. To this day, I have never gotten over the loss of Lacy and miss her dearly as you do Bear. Hope to meet Bodie someday, and am so glad that you have him in your life at this time. Can’t wait to hear about your Alaska trip!

  10. Wow, that tribute to Bear (&Bodie) had me in tears.

    Enjoy your Alaska trip. How exciting! I’ve always wanted to go, but up til this point in our lives, my wife prefers trips to warmer weather, lol

  11. How fast the year went by……..always the master of words to captivate and keep us drawn to your feelings. Bear was amazing and Bodie is on his way to reach his own levels of greatness.

    You are going to love Alaska! I enjoyed my time there when I was on active duty. My two favorite places in the world are obviously a rock on Lake Huron and Alaska. Will your cruise take you through the Fjords in SE Alaska first? I hope it does. They are beautiful to cruise through on your way up north. I highly recommend a sea or ski plane tour at one of your ports of call if you can swing the time. Landing on a glacier in a ski plane is just the coolest! Some sea plane operators will land in remote areas and let you catch a few fish if there is time, but either way an air tour is a must if you can.

    No matter what….your time in Alaska will be awesome.

  12. We are doing land tour first, then coming south to board ship in Whittier. From there we visit Skagway, Ketchikan, and Juneau. Two days cruising among the glaciers also. We are sooo excited. Have booked several exclusions but anything that involved planes and helicopters were a little out of our budget – over $700 each.

  13. What a moving tribute to your fur family. Each pet has a special place in our heart. It is like lighting another candle. Nothing is diminished but the love and light are magnified. Have a wonderful cruise. Now is the time to enjoy yourselves.

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