Monday, July 15, 2013

The Dog Days of Denver!

While we've been visiting "the kids," as I affectionately call my daughter and her boyfriend, we have enjoyed getting to know the Denver area better.  The kids actually live in Lakewood, within walking distance of Whole Foods, the mall,  high-end stores like Neiman-Marcus, boutiques, art galleries, and the farmers' market.

One thing I've noticed is THE DOGS.  Dogs are a big presence here. People take them everywhere.  I've seen them tied up to trees or bike racks outside of shops.  They are at outside caf├ęs, riding in cars, and walking on leashes.  Many of the shops have large bowls of water outside on the sidewalk.

When we parked our cars back at the house, Sierra squealed, "There's a GREAT DANE there!"  A mere half block away from the apartment, there was a pet adoption taking place at the farmers' market.  Jason and Sierra have been looking for a young Great Dane to adopt, and we had just missed the pretty female that had found a new home. Life Is Better Rescue had several dogs and a large book mobile-looking vehicle filled with kittens in cages.

I fell in love with this handsome Mastiff/Boxer mix.  Harrison is 8 years old and very calm.  He was so sweet, accepting the petting and compliments from everyone who noticed him.  I texted Mark his picture and asked, "Honey, if he follows me home, can we keep him?"  Mark's phone was dying, and I didn't get a response until later that night.  I continued, "He could sit on Bridger's lap on the way home."

Mark's delayed response? "No, not really."

"Too late!"  I shot back.  "You will love him!"

Wouldn't that be so much fun? To do some spontaneous, random thing like that?  Sometimes my sensible nature bores me to tears.  I do believe I have some attention deficit problems, but never to the point that I act without considering the consequences of my actions.  My Jiminy Cricket works overtime, always warning me to think twice.  I had already seen into my future with Harrison, loving his big, old dog self, but having to contend with kenneling issues with TWO dogs, the dog food expense of TWO dogs, and the veterinary bills of TWO dogs. I had forced myself to walk away from him, but I kept glancing back until we made the turn down the block back to the house.

The kids had some obligations to dog-sit for the weekend, which came with the added bonus of staying in the dog owner's lovely home in Denver.  The guest room accommodations were five-star, and I slept beautifully.  Jason took care of the lawn and fixed a few things for the homeowner while we were visiting. We enjoyed our time together in such a relaxing setting.

Sharing the home with a German Shepherd and three Yorkshire Terriers was just an added bonus for all of us dog lovers.  Hudson was a gentle giant who loved sleeping at our feet.  Jason told us that when he is with his owner and outside of the home, Hudson is extremely protective and can be very fierce.  That was hard to believe when I watched him tenderly nudge one of the Yorkies with his nose and give him a soft lick.

Bridger slept in piles of puppies on the couch and had Hudson on the floor beside him.  The dogs seemed to gravitate to wherever Bridger was.  He's a dog's man; that's for sure.  Dogs can sense how much he enjoys their company and respond so well to him.

The Yorkies were fun to watch.  I could never keep them straight by name, but the kids had them all figured out from the start.  They were too similar in size and color...and I was only going to see them for two days; it just wasn't worth it for me to try to get them right.  "Puppy!" worked great for me.

Denver has become Sierra's home.  I miss her fiercely now that she has moved away, but I get it.  I moved 2,300 miles away from Virginia when I had the chance to go to college and strike out on my own.  I've never regretted moving to Utah, but a part of me will always call Virginia home.  My dreams of my daughter moving back are fading.  Now she has dreams of her own.  She will be a Daughter of Denver for a few more years, then we'll see how long it takes for her to respond to the siren song of San Diego.  Who can blame her for not falling under the spell of that beautiful seaside city?

We have enjoyed every minute in Lakewood and Denver.  Visiting her here more often is a happy
thought for me.  Our next trip out will be in October to celebrate her birthday and let Mark go to a Broncos' game.  I cannot wait.  Maybe we can fly Marley out with us, too.  He would love being here.  It's such a dog-friendly place, we'll have to check into that.  It's time for me to get packed and ready to go.  That's always the tough part; saying goodbye.  Knowing we already have plans in place for the fall will make it a little easier.  Goodbye, Sierra and Jason.  Goodbye, Dogs of Denver.  Hello, Marley of Utah.  We'll be home soon, little Boston!

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