Friday, January 2, 2009

Our final day with Billy (I think)

Tristan Gilligan and Billy above one of the falls. Notice Gilligan is wearing an Elizabethian collar (e-collar). He has scratched a raw spot on his neck and after $150 for a vet visit on New Years Eve Day he got a shot, some antibiotics and an e-collar!

Tristan, Gilligan and Billy appreciating the falls and icy pool at the bottom.

With Gilligan at a nice overlook
With Gilligan in front of some of the icicles along the White Oak Canyon wall. At this location every so often a big crash would occur and a big piece would fall down because the temperature was just over freezing.

The family (including our honorary family member Billy) in front of one of the Falls

Today is our houseguest: Billy's final day with us. His family is traveling back from Quebec City and assuming there are no major delays they should have arrived home late last night. Billy had a long day yesterday so he was probably fast asleep by the time they got home.
This morning during our morning walk (we have to walk Gilligan because he does not necessarily go potty unless he has a walk and an audience/cheering section:-) Billy laid down after about 100 meters (yes he uses metric!). After a bit of encouragment he got up and grudgingly followed me. This meant in my dog walking pack it was: Me, Gilligan then Billy. This is ALOT different then every other day when it is Billy well ahead, me, then Gilligan way behind. Typically in this scenario I am yelling things like: "one of the two of you is going to dislocate my shoulder" or "I wish I was elastic girl because then I would not be getting ripped into two". But today I was trying to convince both dogs to move. 240+ lbs of dog versus 120+ lbs of girl ensures the dogs win. We made it less then 1/2 of our normal walk and I gave up, my spirit crushed. But at least it was a different spirit (the one that wants the dogs to have a decent walk, not the spirit that wants to have some downtime!).

Yesterday I think Tristan and I can proudly say we won in the battle of Billy vs. the Massie's. We took Billy and Gilligan to Shenadoah National Park to hike around Old Rag and White Oak Canyon to ensure our victory (had Billy read my blog he would have known this was coming). Billy and I ran about 7 miles up and down the fire road while waiting for Tristan to climb Old Rag. Then Tristan, Gilligan, Billy and I all hiked White Oak Canyon. What a difference 5 days makes. This time we were bundled up in our winter clothhing (I had about 10 layers on top, 3 on bottom, 2 pairs of winter weight socks and more hats, scarves, neck gaiters, gloves and mittens on then your average sports store!) Other than when we sat down for lunch and I started eating my sandwich with bare hands, I was toasty the entire time. And once I put on gloves my hands were a bit warmer.

All along White Oak Canyon where there were waterfalls last Saturday, this time there were icicles and a bit of running water. It was very beautiful. Near the top of the Old Rag Fire Road (and as per Tristan the top of Old Rag) there was even a dusting of snow. It was a great day with clear blue skies and a nice temperature for hiking. Hopefully the winter will be relatively mild and we will be back there soon because it really is a very beautiful area (and in winter we do not have to fear rattlesnakes!).

We enjoyed having Billy, but we need some rest. I think I would equate Billy sitting to running a 70 miler. It is tough but no one has a meltdown --well at least that is my 70 miler experience.

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