Tag Archives: family

Camping with Dogs

We have always enjoyed camping but we had never taken a dog camping before. That is until we added this fun guy to our family. Caspian presented some challenges so we decided if we wanted to take a trip our only real option was to take him with us. Little did we know the world of fun he would open up to us.

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Caspian

Caspian loved playing in the water at Allegany State Park in NY.

This ball of energy came bounding into our lives in March of 2014 and before we knew it we were taking her camping in July in NH to continue our new tradition.

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Brynn Camping in NH

In June of 2015 we fell for this guy and Paxton became part of our lives. In August of the same year we went camping on the Adirondacks and he came along for the adventure.

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Paxton hiking in the Adirondacks.

 

Tomorrow we take on a new adventure. We are going to Letchworth State Park in NY. We have been there before but not camped there. For the first time we are going to take two of our dogs on a camping trip at the same time. We will be taking Brynn whop has some experience camping and plenty of experience with us and being out and about. Then we are also taking Sammy, a 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog. We adopted Sammy in March of 2017. He is very energetic and excitable. For some reason we like the challenge of taking new dogs on excursions. This will be a fun and exciting adventure.

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Brynn and Sammy

In addition to camping with our dogs I am running a trail race on Saturday, Sehgahunda Trail Marathon & Relay with some friends. A bunch of us are all camping at Letchworth and then running in races there. So this will be a fun new experience.

 

A Buck’s Purpose

I feel like all the dogs we have had have brought something new into our lives. They have each had their own purpose. Buck and his sister Cami were our introduction to the world of Berners. Through them we have discovered so many wonderful things. We started going to dog shows because of them and that lead to some great days even when we didn’t have them with us.

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In 2008 we attended our first dog show to see the Bernese Mountain Dogs. We have attended dog shows regularly ever since.

I have taken 45,000 photos of dogs at dog shows because of these amazing dogs that entered my life. I have all of these amazing memories thanks to them. I would have never went there and done that without them. They have helped make me the person I am today.

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Buck Loved people!!!!!!!

I on the other hand, not so much. I have always been an introvert. I never want to talk to people I don’t know and I don’t like to be in large groups. I never just walk up to someone to ask them a question or strike up a conversation. I am uncomfortable in most social situations. If I go to a party or gathering I literally pray that there will be a dog for me to pet so I will feel more comfortable.

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Buck did not allow me to sit back and stay in my shell. Buck drew people in. People saw Buck and were drawn to him, and that meant they were drawn to me. Buck was always so happy to see people and have them approach us and say hi. He wanted to be everyone’s best friend. People often stopped to see him and talk to me about him and dogs. Having the conversation be about my dogs and dogs in general makes it easier for me to talk to people. I love my dogs and I enjoy talking to people about my dogs and their dogs.

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It is impossible to take Buck somewhere without people stopping to say hi, so I have had lots of practice getting outside my comfort zone. If we go to the park people stop to pet him and visit. Driving in the car people smile and laugh at his antics. He livens up the day at any drive through window we have to stop at and brightens up the day for the employees.

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When we started going to dog shows to see other Bernese Mountains Dogs like ours it opened up a whole new world for us. Buck allowed us to meet other people who shared our passion for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Even if I went to dog shows alone I would never have dared to approach anyone, but Buck was a conversation starter. It was always all about Buck. We met a dog who competed at Westminster after we met him. We met local breeders of Bernese Mountain Dogs. We went to a gathering of people all who had Bernese Mountain Dogs. I met and became friends with a woman who showed her dogs at one of our regions biggest dog shows. Her dogs are so fabulous. She asked me to photograph her and her dog. At our most recent trip to a dog show we met several members of our regional Bernese Mountain Dog Club and had lunch with them at the dog show. Buck never cared about what was going on as long as he could see people.

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Buck was up for anything if it meant getting to see people. He sat in the rain with us at the 2010 Hickories Circuit Dog Show just so he could be around people.

The more obvious it became that Buck thrived on meeting people the more we tried to take him to where the people would be. We took him to community events where he would always draw a crowd. It was like he had his own fan club.

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Walking down the street with Buck at a community event was slow going because so many people wanted to see him and he wanted to see so many people. He snuggled up against everyone and solicited their touch. Buck was just that bighearted dog that made everyone smile and laugh. Buck loved events on market street in Corning. We would take him and he would stroll down the street just looking for the next person to pet him. His favorite event was probably Sparkle. There was just so many people. It was constant human contact. Pretty much heaven on earth for Buck.

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I never imagined that Buck being at community events had much of an impact other than just for us and for him. but this past Christmas season we went to Sparkle and he wasn’t well enough to go with us, so we took our other Bernese Mountain Dogs. As we were walking around we ran into some people and they asked us about Buck. They said they were going to be looking to see if he was here at Sparkle this year. So maybe Buck touched more lives than just ours out there. Maybe there are many more people than I could image out there with memories of him keeping him alive.

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As Buck got older and couldn’t get around as well as he used to, we desperately sought a way to keep getting him out into the public he loved so much. We knew that even though he couldn’t walk much he would still want to see people. We finally found a garden wagon that was big enough for him. It would take to cars to take him places but it was well worth it to see him happy out in public meeting people. We were able to take him out several times using this wagon.

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Buck enjoying a treat on Christmas.

After Buck’s accident and injuries we were reluctant to take him out even in the cart because we didn’t know how that would affect his leg. When Buck had to go to Ithaca for vet rechecks I made it a point to stop at the park and hang out with him so he could have some time outside. He always loved to go out and do stuff and I wanted him to get as much of that as he could even when recovering. At his last vet recheck the vet said he was really happy with the range of motion in his leg and that it looked like his fractures were well healed. The next day Buck had an acupuncture appointment. He did so well getting around despite his bad leg and was so happy. We decided that since he was doing so well it was a good day to take him to the park. We went home and got his wagon and his sister Kira and we went to Eldridge Park. Buck was so happy riding around in his wagon. We all sat at the pavilion and enjoyed the day for a while. I can’t help but think that there was a reason we took him there that day. It was his last happy day with us. Three days later he was gone.

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Three days before Buck passed he was happy and excited to be out for an adventure. What ended up being Buck’s farewell trip. We just didn’t know it yet.
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Buck’s last day with us. He still had that look in his eye.
Photographer: Kyle ReynoldsSubject: Location: Date Taken:
Buck as a puppy when we first brought him home.

 

And They Were No More

Around 10 and a half  years ago we moved into our house and brought into it a pack of four dogs to live with us and be our family. We had grand adventures. There was never a dull moment and now we will fill our hearts with memories once again.

Blake was the first to leave us. Cami was taken by disease. Sierra lived a long life to 16 but still felt to short in hour hearts. Tomorrow we will relinquish Buck and he will return to the heavens after 10 long and glorious Berner years.

I can’t believe that after tomorrow our original pack of dogs that stated us down this crazy road will truly be be no more.

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(Left to Right) Cami, Blake, Sierra, Buck

Small Business Saturday

For the first time I am running a Small Business Saturday sale. This is a great opportunity to purchase some art and support a small business. Art is great for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it makes great gifts including as a gift for yourself. This is the biggest sale I have held to date. Get 50% off all orders $100 or more today only. Use coupon code SMALLBIZSAT. So today is your only day to take advantage of this sale and support local art. You can find photographic prints to order at KRNaturalPhoto.

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I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and had lots to give thanks for. I hope everyone has a happy holiday season. I know I am planning to. I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family.

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Buck is HOME!!!!

Over the weekend our ten year old Bernese Mountain Dog was involved in an accident and required some extensive surgery. His surgery included fixing broken bones with hardware and repairing a dislocated hip. There was a broken bone in his foot, in his lower leg. The dislocated hip required a femoral head osteotomy.

Buck went in for surgery on Friday night. Buck was finally recovered enough on Monday that we could bring him home that evening. We had prepared a place in our bedroom for Buck with a nice soft orthopedic quality dog bed and a soft sided crate to keep the other dogs from bothering him. But Buck had other plans.

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Buck decided he was laying in the middle of the floor.

Buck had other plans. Buck decided he just wanted to plunk down in his living room and rest. We had let all the other dogs outside so we could bring Buck in the house with minimal commotion. But since Buck wanted to stay in the living room we had to confine the other dogs so he could rest and not be disturbed. We brought Bucks bed out for him and kenneled up most of the other dogs. I don’t think they were thrilled with that but they did well despite the hassle for them.

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Buck on his bed, now in the living room.

Kira was calm enough that she could stay out with Buck. She loves him and just relaxed on the couch and left him alone.

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We are so happy to have a big guy back home. Now we will begin the long road to recovery for Buck. Lots of ice packs, heat packs, and range of motion exercises in our future among other things.

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