Monday, August 15, 2011

Andy's Cottage Adventure

Disclaimer: I do not normally stalk my dog Andy so much with a camera. There are two reasons I've made a post specifically about my dog and his time at the cottage this past week.
1) We have a new camera and Andy has suffered from second child syndrome in that we don't have a lot of photos of him and
2) Steve hasn't seen Andy since April and would enjoy seeing Andy have so much fun.
 If you are not a fan of an owner photo pimping their dog so much, move along, there is nothing of interest for you in this post - and you are not human because who can resist Andy's chubby face?

A Water Dog - Who'd Have Thought?
Andy loved the dock. He did not however love leaving the dock to get into the water. He likes to walk into the water and would not try stepping down into the water as he thought it was too steep.

He wears a life jacket because he loves balls. A lot. 
You could throw a ball super far and he would go retrieve it regardless of how far it or tired he is. So he has always worn a life jacket in the water in case he suffers fatigue. Except apparently he will not jump in after a ball. 

Eventually I picked up his front paws and put then on a rock just off the dock into the water to show him the rock was there.  He was still uncertain but would risk it to recover his precious ball.

That evening we didn't want him to go in the water because he'd be wet to go to bed so figuring he would stay out of the water if we didn't throw a ball, I did not put his life jacket on him.  He surprised us all by entering the water on his own and just swimming for the sake of swimming.
He seemed so much more relaxed and confident without it I didn't put it back on again all week.

Everyone Loves Marine Land
Andy spent many a hour chasing balls thrown into the water, retrieving them and stomping on them in the shallows.

When he's on the retrieval of a ball he really pours on the gas. 

He would accelerate and the front part of his body would start to lift out of the water like a speed-boat. 

None of us could out swim him when he was on a mission.

Andy enjoyed relaxing on the dock, ball between his paws and keeping an eye on the neighbour's ball-like buoy in case it ever moved and needed retrieving. The rock buoy that he attempted to retrieve once looked remarkably like his jolly ball which soon joined the water fun.

From then on the tennis ball was replaced with his jolly ball 

for the retrieving 

and squishing.

"I'm Slightly Concerned..."
Anytime Andy was on the dock and people were in the water, you would see this face

He would be very interested in who was coming on the dock and get excited if you were going to get out and join him on the dock

The worst though was when I tried to leave in the kayak. Andy was having none of that and was determined to join me.

You can see Andy try to climb in the kayak with me. Good thing he's wearing his nail caps so he didn't scratch anything.

Nap Time
Andy had so much fun, he would be so exhausted any time we would come in from outside

And even when we still were outside

That is if there weren't bugs that needed to be exterminated.

Andy had a fantastic time - though he was determined not to be left behind as we packed up.
He jumped in the back seat as soon as the blankets were down and I had to drag him out to join the group photo because he refused to budge.

Andy says
"Thanks for letting my people rent the cottage,
 it was fun and made me happy."

A Week at an Ontario Cottage

Every year there is a Davis Family reunion in the Bancroft area. Every year the Speed Family never attends (except once in 1974 - attended by the Matriarch of the Speeds as the rest did not exist yet). This year, a portion of the family decided to attend and make a vacation out of it. 
Enter the cottage owned by a cousin, on lake Paudash,  southwest of Bancroft and the week of swimming, kayaking, hiking, and relaxation for all.

Andy was the first to discover the dock,and would continue to be delighted to descend to it multiple times throughout the day provided his Goddess Colleen would also be present.

The Speed Family Matriarch and future Douglas Family Matriarch soon discovered their natural habitat in the kitchens. Colleen and Martin suspect it has something to do with pregnancy and hormones as they did not have the same apparent biological need to rush to prepare the epic menu that was to be enjoyed all week.

Fun in the Sun (well most days)
The water at the cottage was warm in the sun and perfect for jumping off the dock as Martin soon discovered in his attempt to impress us with his canon ball skills.

Bonnie and Martin enjoying the water on the first day. Future Baby Douglas likes the water.

Bonnie enjoying a lounge on a noodle in the sun

Later in the week Karen arrived and deemed the water perfectly Canadian. "Ccc'mmoon innnn, the wa-waater's ggrrrreat."

Even Andy deemed the water fun for swimming.
(But then again he eats frozen poo so is he really all that picky?)

Andy had a fun time at the cottage, so much so that I'm making an Andy's Cottage Adventures post for the Andy fans out there - can't have people cluttering up photos of the dog afterall.

Three out of four of the Speed Girls enjoying the cottage waters.

Sunset Swims
Martin receives the credit for all these sunset photos. 

It was fantastic to spend a week at an Ontario lake side after so long.

The water was pleasantly warm in the evening after a sunny day on the lake.
(no wetsuits required and no sharks!)

"Motor boat, motor boat, please slow down"

How did people enjoy lakes before noodles were invented?

Beautiful location, stunning scenery, good company - what more does a week need?

Included because Andy is awesome

Hiking Bonnie's Pond Trail at Silent Lake
No, not that Bonnie. Bonnie the horse for which the trail is named. Probably drowned in the pond. Poor horsey.
Bonnie, Martin, and the mommy headed out on a local hiking trail.

Colleen heard it was fun and that she would have really enjoyed it but her knee hurt so she didn't go. It makes blogging about something you didn't attend hard.

Tiny toad

The photos look nice, the mother returned with some local rocks like smokey quartz and mica. The Bancroft area has very diverse geology.

Stoke the Fires, Bring the Marshmallows
A week at the cottage is not complete without a fire at night. 

And because Colleen now has a fancy camera, she needed to take photos of the fire

Diabolical Martin and his masterful fire creation.

Rock Hounds
The blue in this rock is a local semi-precious rock found in the Bancroft area called sodalite

And because Colleen inherited her love of rocks from her mother, they "rocked out" so to speak in the local rock store.

Bonnie and Martin enjoy a good rock as much as the next person but not to the same degree and the budding rock nerds.

But where their enthusiasm for the multitude of rocks failed, their excitment for cliches and gimmicky photos prevailed.

Eagle's Nest Hike
Don't get too excited, we operated on cottage time all week so by the time we arrive to find the Eagle's Nest platform in Bancroft, it was 4pm.

There were no eagles or other raptors around at that time of day - apparently we missed the optimum viewing time.

But the view was fabulous regardless.

And a quartz deposit!

Loons, Kayaking, Float Planes, and Canoes
We heard loons almost everyday and evening we were at the cottage. The loons would come decently close to the dock as well.

On Thursday we remembered we had yet to try out the kayak as every time we remembered it was late in the afternoon and the water had become choppy.  Determined to make the most out of his cottage weekend, Martin rose early(ish) and took the maiden voyage.

We were treated to a float plane taking off from behind a small island located in front of the cottage.

Bonnie and Martin went for a canoe adventure.

Martin knows where it's at.

Bonnie and future baby Douglas out for a paddle

The damsel flies enjoyed the blue of the kayak for their activities. Those damsel flies know how to party.

Colleen's Kayaking (Mis)Adventure
When it came time for Colleen's turn to kayak, Andy decided he should accompany her. She had to come back to the dock and the others had to call Andy out of the water and hold him on the dock until she was out of sight because he probably would have followed her in that kayak until he drown from exhaustion.

Eager to explore the area in the kayak, Colleen headed for a shallow area she would pass on her walks with Andy. There she paddled among the lily pads in search of turtles.

It didn't take long. Two painted turtles were sunning themselves on a log and she got quite close to them before scaring them into the water.

Eager to play with the macro feature of her new camera she spent a while taking photos of everything interesting.

Bumble bee in flight.

Colleen then continued her journey and came across this low lying bridge. Being the adventurous girl that she is (last time had a great idea she ended up face planting on the ocean floor), she decided that she should be able to fit under it in her kayak.

After shimmying herself as far down into the kayak as she could, and many attempts at different angles, Colleen gave up on her attempt to fit under the bridge. She did not relish the scraps and cuts that probably would have resulted on her face. She probably amused nearby cottage-goers though.

Not to be deterred by her failure to squeeze under the bridge, she set her sights on a new goal, passing through the Fallen Tree of Doom.


Colleen in all her cleverness decided she would come around the island across from the cottage and surprise Andy by returning from the opposite direction. As she rounded the first island (that she did not think was the proper one) she abandoned her plans as her arms were getting tired. Time to head straight back. On her way "back" to the cottage she got close to two loons.

The loons were difficult to photograph in the time it took to remove her camera from it's protective ziploc bag, turn it on, and focus, the loon would often have dove for more delicious fishes.

Then half hour later she admitted to herself was going in the wrong direction and spent the next 45 minutes paddling back to attempt to find the cottage. She was getting close to the point of flagging down a passing motor boat to ask them to pull her along the shore until she saw the correct cottage when she spotted a cottage that looked familiar from her walks with Andy. Colleen finally arrived, thirsty, hungry, tired and could not lift herself out of the kayak with her fatigued arms and sore knee so she gracefully flopped over into the water next to the dock like a whale.

Cottage life is hard. 
Andy agrees.