Great day to stretch out our six legs !
So my good friend Mike inquired as how my pal was doing. He is still healing but things are so much better.
He has regained the twenty pounds he lost after the accident, and his wound is barely open. Time heals all.
Every once in a while he still has a little difficulty eating when he gulps his food. But he eats well, no longer painfully turning away from the food I just poured. Frank has kept him well supplied with sausage and biscuits from time to time. He immediately sits when I walk through the door with the aluminium package of happiness.
He rode down to Texas and back to deliver three horses that will one day be living in France.
He was happy to see his friend Sammi who is known to spoil him rotten as well.
He is still the happy, jumpy, tough guy he has always been. Going on alert when he sees the horses. Barking when they are playing with each other. He refuses to move when I start the shop vac insisting I vacuum his big self first.
He sleeps harder than he used too. But that is okay. He has earned it putting up with me all these years.
It was snowing when I took these pics. Snow still excites him !
So here we are. At the beginning. I have come to the decision not to continue the canoe trip down the Missouri river this paddling season.
The decision was easy.
Any type of long distance journey has inherent risks. Illness, injury, or disability that can conclude in death of a team member. I use risk evaluation constantly to minimize the potential of these things occuring.
You see this has been a two member team of one dog and one man. Has been that way for ten years. We have gone all over the USA. 99% Of the time it is to someplace remote, mountains, deserts but we really love going to places they call “Wilderness”
The large open wound that Zeusy is carrying in his chest will take time to heal. He is also showing signs of being easily fatigued from his injury.
It is not worth the risk.
A quick risk evalution shows he is at risk for further complications if the wound becomes infected. His fatigue shows that he is probably not capable of self rescue if we wind up in the water. The Missouri’s is wide with quick currents.
It is not worth the risk.
He is an important part of this human-dog team. He has been vital in his role. When going up river, stuck on large sandbars and hauling the canoe distances overland to the river he has been incredible. I hook his leash to my belt, I grab the canoe or it’s ropes and yell “Go! ” He is a powerful one hundred pound German Shepherd and pulls me easily as we both pull the canoe and gear.
His role as security, tent warmer, comedic relief and protector has been invaluable as well.
He has also been friend maker too! Charming Kendar and Marshal at James Kipp. Melissa on the Turnbull ranch was enthused by him. Shyanne, Josh and others produced huge smiles when the formal introductions were made and he raises his paw to shake their hands when the greeting of “Nice to meet you,” was spoken to a dog who likes meeting new people.
One of the funniest things said to me as he took off at lightning speed down river to chase waves was ” I think your dog is going to beat you back to St. Louis.”
So here we are. At the beginning. The last two months has been one of the most incredible experiences for both of us.
It has never been about point A to point B. It is everything in between those two points that make a journey. The points are just the start and the end.
“This is the end” your mind is saying. No not hardly, this is a travel blog. That is what we do. Travel and share it with you.
There is next paddle season to try and complete the Missouri. Plus the fact that we are still in North Dakota and I scored a job at Bayside Resort in Linton, ND for a few months. At least until we head to St. Louis and then the East Coast. Still many places, animals, people and things to experience.
Besides there is still a ton to share from the last few months.
After spending two nights at Don’s Motel in Linton, ND. Game Warden Schmidt came and got us.
Off we went to retrieve the canoe and gear parked at the Grenz ranch. Herb Grenz had moved it further on shore. High winds on the lake prompted putting it further up. He had also called the hotel that day to warn me not to come out and paddle. The winds were too high. This makes impressive swells and waves on Lake Oahe.
When we arrived we were met by Herb Grenz who had a lively conversation and I learned how the ranchers of ND. don’t hesitate to take care of wildlife suffering from the deprivations of hard winters. Great stuff!
Warden Schmidt and I loaded the canoe and all my gear into the bed of his truck. He was driving us to Beaver Bay campground where we can take it easy while Zeusy recovers.
We had a great conversation about NorthDakota, Wyoming, Linton, and I learned a lot. We also shared in the conversations that LEOs share wherever they come across each other in the World. We also shared the thrill of seeing Pheasants and the ND State Bird, the Eastern Meadow Lark.Warden Schmidt set us up in a great place. A restaurant and store are up the hill, and a 360° turn lays your eyes on the beauty of North Dakota.
Dr. Stacey was called and she advised us how to proceed with Zeusy’s recovery. She is the best!
We will be here until he heals. Zeusy is mostly sleeping and eating. I promise you I am fully using my canine loyalty until he is better. He does it when I am not well.
What are pals for right?
Thank you again Warden Schmidt, and the people of North Dakota!
I only will paddle two hours before he gets a break. If he has to go sooner he will look at the river bank and whine just enough to let me know. He then runs and dives in the water. He then finds me a stick to throw. Game on until it is time to go again.
He has loved the rivers since I first took him many moons ago.