“Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.”

    - Natalie Goldberg -

ADVENTURES  WITH BANDIT

It’s been 58 days since we began our puppy adventure.  The first days were hectic as you know if you read my last blog.  Everything is still hectic but in a different way.  The things we have accomplished are substantial, at least to me.  1. Bandit is 95 % potty trained.  It’s just a matter of remembering to send him outside when he wakes up from a nap.  2.  He is napping often now and so am I.  3. He responds about 60% of the time to “Come”.  4. He has stopped biting me.  This was a hard one.  Nothing worked until I filled an empty can with several pennies and shook it when he bit me and quietly said, “No bite”  It only took once, scared the stuffing out of him and that was that. 5. He has had most of his shots and is now 27 lbs.  It feels more like 40 when I lift him up. 6. He and Gracie have made peace and she has become a great babysitter.  She takes him outside and plays with him several times a day.  At first, he could outrun her when they played “chase me” but she got her sea legs and beats him.  7. He has become a terrific boat dog, more about that later.

I have gotten quite attached to him now and he follows me everywhere.  He loves to lie in the kitchen and watch me cook.  He is still a little pig when I feed him.  He practically inhales his food.  I had to start scattering it on the floor so he was forced to slow down a bit.  Also, Gracie loves the puppy food and wants her share.  

Last week we went up to Kelowna’s Lake Okanagan to spend 8 days on our pontoon boat. We had a rocky start because the day before our planned departure, both the car and the truck broke down.  My Subaru is 18 years old and it never gives us trouble but the ignition motor finally failed at the same time Dale had the truck torn apart replacing the clutch.  Dale quickly jerry-rigged the truck so we could get a part for the car.  It was all very chaotic but we still managed to leave on time.

It has been smoky here and everywhere else I hear.  That was true of the Okanagan as well.   We made it there around 2:30 and launched our boat at the Eldorado Resort Marina because our grandson is the manager of there.  We motored across the lake and camped on a gravelly beach on the other side.

The next day we planned to meet my friend C. at the city launch site at 10:00 am and spend the day together.  She was right on time and we visited and swam and ate for several hours.  We dropped her off at the same dock and tied up our boat. We wanted to see Cs downtown apartment.  We all visited for a bit and then Dale took the dogs back to the boat and I stayed for about 15 minutes more.  When I left the apartment and went out on the street everything had changed.  A terrific wind (we found out it was 75 km/h) had everyone running for cover.  I hurried down to the launch and it was a busy mess.  Boats were trying to get in and rescue crews were going out on distress calls.  We tied up more securely and decided to wait it out.  The lake was full of white caps and big waves.  Our grandson phoned to see if we were OK and said they were on one rescue mission after another.  We decided that this didn’t make a very peaceful night so we pulled the boat and spent the night at my daughter’s place.

The next day we saw in the paper how my Grandson and his crew were congratulated for rescuing a family from a sinking boat.  But today the weather was better so we went back on the lake. The rest of the week was great with friends and family visiting and lots of swimming and even some fishing. On the last day, a party was planned at a picnic site close to town.   Dale and our son-in-law decided to take the boat and dogs out and fish down to the picnic area, while my daughter and I drove down with all the supplies.  By the time we got there and picked out a table, the rest of the family started arriving.  But the wind had picked up again and the lake was getting rough.  Our pontoon boat is very steady in rough weather but it would be a bit difficult for them to pull into the beach.  My daughter and I were standing on the shore to guide them into a sandy spot when Bandit saw me on the beach.  He was so anxious to come to me he jumped over the gate and fell into the water.  The boat was still thrashing around in the waves about 30 feet from the shore.  We could see Bandit come up to the surface and start swimming around the boat trying to find a way back on.  Dale cut the motor and was leaning out of the boat trying to find him.  We could see him going underneath, between the pontoons toward the back, so Dale couldn’t see him.  I had only taken him in the water twice to see if he could swim so I began panicking.  I lost sight of his little head so I handed my hearing aids to my daughter and ran in, clothes and all and started to swim out and calling him.  I knew if he saw me he’d swim to me.  But as I approached the boat I couldn’t spot him.  I was so sure he had sunk I was already crying.  Just then a voice from the boat yelled: “We’ve got him”.  I could hardly believe it.  I was so relieved and turned around and swam back to the shore.  They docked the boat and I ran on.  Dale grabbed me and said ”What were you thinking?’  He hugged me and muttered, “I didn’t know who to save, my wife, my puppy or my boat.”

Bandit had swum around to the back and was hanging on to the metal that housed the motor when Dale swooped down and grabbed him.  He was now sitting on the seat, wrapped in a towel looking pretty happy with himself.  But, all in all, we had a good time but were happy to get home.

more to come…

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