Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

Whoa, where did the year go and what did we do?  Well, let's see:  we welcomed Eddie, said goodbye to Sadie and Petey, went on a road trip, welcomed visitors (both canine and human), underwent kitchen and back yard renos and a new roof, explored many parks and hiked many trails, worked on photography, mourned the loss of good people and good dogs , wrote,  volunteered, went to doggy school,  made new friends and deepened friendships with old ones, got published in Reader’s Digest and continued to co-write a column  for the Chemainus Valley Courier,  won several awards in photography at the Cowichan Exhibition,  laughed with family and friends.  All in all, I'd have to say we had a pretty good year.

Boat by a Foggy Pier
(c) 2012 Jean Ballard

Eddie ended the year on a high note:  During our walk this afternoon, the last day of the year, he fearlessly trotted all the way across the new sea walk extension and back again!!!  Yay – just two weeks ago he belly-crawled the first four feet before trying to bolt back to solid ground.  I am so proud of you, Eddie!  Stairs and elevators in 2013?

The big scary sea walk extension
Conquered by Eddie December 31, 2012
Ah is so clever!

I can’t get over how many wonderful places there are to hike with dogs within a ten minute drive of my adopted home town. We chose this community partly because of its dog-friendliness – walking and hiking the trails of Osborne Bay Park, Crofton Lake, Swallowfield, Maple Mountain, Richards Mountain, Escarpment Way Pond walk, and of course our beautiful Sea Walk.  I am still discovering more great places nearby to hike. 

In 2012, my third year on the island, I made my first visits to Eves Park and Grace Park, both within ten minute drives of Crofton.  On December 30th of 2012, we discovered yet another treasure only ten or fifteen  minutes away – the trails extending from Fuller Lake in Chemainus to the turquoise bridge near Russell’s Market in Crofton.   (My friend Barbara had told me about these trails some time ago  - thanks Barb! - but this was my first time there).  Eddie and I, with our friends Margaret and Rajah, explored them for well over two hours yesterday morning – miles of lovely wide trails through first and second growth municipal forest. We did make a wrong turn or two on the many, many forks - next time we will take along some wool or survey tape to mark our way!

Two floofy tails swagger down the trails

Rajah and Eddie pause to take
a snack from Margaret

Happy Rajah bounces down the trail,
delighted with a stick he found

And with all those great places to walk with dogs, it’s no wonder some of the best dogs in Canada live here too.  Yesterday afternoon Else came over with one of her four dogs, Tanner.  I have a cute photo story to edit about that visit, which I will post in a day or two.  Today I met a five month old Irish Wolfhound who has joined the family of my friend Bonnie.  Keegan is all legs (he's already taller than Riley, our visiting collie!), and  has a unique colour pattern: blonde on one side, brindle on the other -  What a hoot! 

Keegan - age five months
and cute as a button

Keegan and his big (BIG) sister Dreanne
sucking up raindrops from a patio table

Keegan shows off his blonde side
and six miles of legs

Keegan's brindle side

And his adorable grey face

We look forward to watching you grow, Keegan!

And Eddie, Allie and I look forward to what 2013 may bring – more trails to discover, more friends to make, new faces and places to blog about,  and who knows  - maybe a little surprise for our readers (insert wicked laugh here.....Eddie, Allie and I aren't sayin' nuthin' yet!)  

Happy New Year to all our readers.  Thank you for following along on our journey, for your comments and support, for your friendship, and most of all, for loving your critters and mine.  

May 2013 bring you peace, joy, and wonderful new adventures. 


Erika said...

Happy New Year from an avid reader who needs to get better at posting comments :)
Love your pics.

georgia little pea said...

Whats the surprise? I can't wait!

I can honestly say I've never seen a dog like Keegan. Grey, blonde and brindle? How special is that? If he were here...:)

Anita said...

I love your photos too Jean -- your critters, your scenery,and especially the one of the two boats in this post.
I also love to start my day by reading your blog -- that is when the two words aren't too difficult to make out with bleary eyes!!

Brigid said...

Happy New Year to you too, Jean - and to all the lucky four-foots who pass through your hands...

Black Jack's Carol said...

Good health, contentment, and many more adventures out and about with your camera are just a few of my wishes for your 2013, Jean.

And.. way to go, Eddie!!!

So many of your thoughts and accompanying photos bring smiles and insights too. I look forward to your "surprise" and indeed, to whatever in your world you choose to share with us, your happy readers.