Even before Lars was adopted, when I was feeling so worried about how I'd miss him, I knew it would be great to go on walks and camping trips with just my two dogs.
When we had Lars, on any excursion I always had to choose which selection of dogs to bring. On day hikes and trails with Florian, we usually brought Lars and Fozzie so they could get tired out and Lamar could relax at home.
On long drives, like our trip to Fredericksburg, VA and our walk along the Rappahannock River, Lars plotzed out peacefully in the back while Fozzie, as is his custom, smashed himself against the windows whenever we passed another car.
Good to have two people available for the walking, as Lars and Fozzie are just about impossible to manage together in the face of other dogs, skateboards, or squirrels. I gave Fozzie to Florian, as of the two Lars was probably a bit more challenging since he'd had less practice trading calm for treats.
We didn't go on a lot of long walks with Fozzie and Lars; my anxiety about encountering other dogs or other triggers was too great. But on the way back from Fredericksburg, we did stop at a wildlife refuge just to enjoy a bit more sun.
The weather was fantastic and the boys enjoyed just being outside, seeing the sights, and sniffing the sniffs.
For me there's something about boardwalks and places where you can view wildlife out over the water.
I love that these places are set aside for the birds and that there are probably all kinds of things thriving out there.
Not least Fozzie and Florian's eternal, undying love for one another.
Which I think made Lars a bit uncomfortable.
Mission accomplished, we brought two tired dogs home to Lamar, who seemed glad to have had the time to himself.
Sadly, Lamar is getting to where a longer walk tires him out and we will probably have to start letting him stay home for some of them. But when my sister rented a beach house near Rehoboth recently, it seemed a perfect opportunity to get some quality time with Lamar and enlist my buddy Francine to stay with the other two.
I was on the tail end of a nasty flu and not sure if I was even strong enough to make the trip, but after being flat on my back for two weeks there was no way I was going to pass up a break from my house and my cloud of dark thoughts.
So I loaded up Lamar, picked up my dad, and we headed out for a nice drive to the coast. Dad loves going for drives, and he didn't need to know that my head was still spinning and I probably should've still been in bed.
We got to the beach house without mishap, and were greeted by Florian, his son, and my sister and niece, who had been braving the freezing coastal winds for the past week.
Dad, Lamar and I just stayed for a day. Long enough to go for some nice mellow beach walks, feed Lamar some really tasty tuna fish and let him know he's my #1 son,
watch Point Break for the umpteenth time on TV, bond with my sister and dad
and brother-in-law-like figure Eric, and buy way too many tie-dyed dresses from my favorite hippie store in Rehoboth.
A relaxing break at a time of way too much stress. Let's do that again soon!