Monday, June 12, 2017


                       I've been struggling here. I've made no secret of the battle. I've made no secret of how badly I miss you.  Its been very difficult to leave the house except for have to cases. I know, that you would not want me to be this way. Knowing that, I took a step to combat the fear of moving forward. Bella had been wanting to go for a car ride, so I took a deep breath and reached for her leash.
                      Bella must have heard the clink of the leash as she was at the door in a heartbeat wanting in and wanting 'dressed'. The vet had told me on her last visit that she was too heavy so I've been feeding her less. Its working as the halter fit once again. I opened the door and she of course beat me to the gate. Opening the car door she was up and in. We headed out and I saw that I was going to need gas so we went there first. Once that was done we headed for the park. I figured we might as well hike around the lake. You and I only did it once, and that was a long while back, I was hoping that the memories wouldn't attack too strongly.  Parking the car I got my backpack and then let Bella out. Another deep breath and we started out.

                      Our first stop was down on the pier. It was a beautiful day so it seemed as if there were people everywhere  fishing. I took a few photos from the pier and then headed back up to the trail around the lake. I met this gentleman who was leaving. He saw Bella and started a conversation. He was very nice, showing me photos of his dogs, but he was wound up and ready to talk a while. I managed to get away from him and we headed on our way. Every so often I would stop and take a photo or two or three. Bella was raring to go but she behaved well with each stop. The path was wide enough and well marked. I really doubted there would be a problem of us getting lost, but I didn't want to make Bella walk too much as it was a warm day.

                     Bella was noticing every scent along the way and for the most part I let her take her time. I was noticing the flora and fauna along the trail and the scenes of the lake. I could also hear the group that was not too far away who were fishing near the upper section of the lake. I doubt they were catching much with the amount of noise they were making. When Bella and I came into view the first one who saw Bella shouted "wolf!!" I'm looking down at the German Shepherd thinking, really? Ah well, if they want to think she's a wolf and that keeps them away from me, that's fine. From the sound of it, there had been a bit of alcohol mixed in with their fishing. I didn't tarry because I didn't want that one who had said they were getting ready to swing their fishing rod to decide that maybe he wanted to do that anyway. Even with Bella on a leash.
                       Its an entire network of trails that circle the lake, they are designed for hiking or mountain biking either one. At one point I waited for a bike to pass by before we moved on forward. I did manage to take a couple of wrong turns that had us traveling in a circle, but I would always find the right path and head on forward.

                        At the dam end of the lake there was a flock of geese resting in the grass. When they saw us approaching they crossed the roadway and into the lake. Bella saw them and thought to give chase but one word stopper her cold. She does understand that word - no. She had started out all excited and nearly pulling me along. By this point she was tired and walking beside me right where she should have been all along. At one point we both heard a noise in the woods not far form us,  we both glanced over but made no move to investigate. 

                        Finally, we arrived at the gate to the parking area. Walking in the grass beside the pavement we made our way to the car. Opening the door I made to get the bowl and water I had brought for Bella but she wasn't interested. I believe her adventure had totally worn her out. Fastening her in place I closed the door and got in the driver's seat. I buckled up and started the car. Pulling out of the parking place I headed for home, Bella was stretched out across the seat, panting and feeling the wind from the windows.

                          Back home Bella attacked the water bucket and then found her favorite place to rest, on the cool cement of the front porch. I watched her for a moment and then went inside. Looking at the clock I saw that we had been gone nearly two hours. Two hours of walking in the woods, seeing the water, hearing the sounds of people enjoying themselves. Two hours of photographing water, plants and bugs. Two hours, of healing. It was a baby step, but it was at least a step.

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