Be adventurous, be bold, be daring. 🏞
taken from the hike last week that required a certain amount of boldness to even get to.
you drive up a bit to a little pay booth where you pay your 4€ and assume you’re nearly at the parking place...
except then the road turns to gravel...
and angles up...
and starts including all number of hairpin turns...
and watch out for busses coming from the other direction of all things.
all i could do was press down on the accelerator, put the van in 2nd gear and hope like hell nobody was coming the other way. it’s just not powerful enough to be able to get going again if we come to a stop on that kind of dirt road, at least not without a lot of wheel spinning and engine-revving.
almost to the parking place and the engine warning light comes on, as it always does in these steep hilly roads...
second corner from the top and we suddenly loose momentum. the van chugs along wearily but i can tell he’s giving up.
“no!!” i yell, swearing at it. “don’t you give up now!!!! don’t you dare!!!”
on my gps i can see... one more hairpin turn...
and the power drops. the engine hums in a weak and sickening way. lurches forward. threatens to die out. i swear again, dropping to first gear, loosing forward momentum, coming to a stop.
i take a deep breath, put on the handbrake, rev the engine and slowly release...
the wheels spin, sending rocks flying out into the forest, but then we have traction and we are launching forward. finally we make it.
and the hike with incredible views and great company made it all worth while.
#wetdogwednesday !!!!! 💦💦💦 one thing i’ve been so enjoying this summer has been swimming with loki. i don’t mean standing on shore throwing a ball but actually getting in the water with him. i’ve always been a water-baby, though the cold usually scares me off, but the lakes here in europe are so warm that i can’t help but go in. and the more i go in, the happier loki is with me being in there.
i think he really used to feel quite uncomfortable if i was swimming. like his world had turned upside down somehow and he wasn’t sure how to deal with it. also sensible dogs like loki have a built in respect for not wanting to drown. but little by little i’ve managed to chip away at that natural instinct to automatically go to shore, and now we can just hang out in the water.
on monday at the lake in austria we paddled from one side of a little bay to the other. we paddled around a little outcrop of rocks. i threw his ball a little bit (but never much any more because i don’t want him to swallow too much water). i worked on his verbal directionals while he swam (he s****d 😂) and we worked on our ‘emergency docking procedure’.
because i hate the sound his throat makes when he’s swimming and there’s a bit of water tapping against his windpipe. but he also doesn’t go to shore any more to swallow it. so i started teaching him to relax and stop swimming in my arms while i tread water.
at first he decided he should swim straight toward me and flail his paws in an attempt to climb on my head. but with a bit of trial and error i worked out how to slightly move out of his way so he came in side-on to me and swam into my arms, instantly calming down and relaxing. now i’m a pretty good swimmer but treading water while holding up 16kg of dog (albeit in a life jacket) and unable to use my arms was quite a challenge... until i worked out that i could rest my chin on his (life-jacketed) back, and the buoyancy of his jacket meant i could kick my legs fairly minimally and we would both stay perfectly afloat!
so now even if he’s struggling for some reason, we can take a pause without strain or stress from either of us.
i love how much he trusts me in the water to look after him ❤️
My poor little carrot shark is in a world of pain this morning. 🥕🦈=☹️
after taking the skin off one front and one back paw yesterday (possibly they were blisters that popped) he didn’t realise how bad he was hurting - riding the high of agility training and then the deep sleep that follows a big day of hiking and agility...
but now that it’s morning... poor guy doesn’t even want to make the little jump to get in the van, and is trying all kinds of creative ways to walk using only two feet. sometimes he just stands on the floor of the van as if he wants to do something but he doesn’t know what or how ☹️☹️
needless to say we won’t be hiking today or tomorrow, and the agility competition tomorrow is out of the question. a couple of nice rest days for us instead. i think we’ll go back to a quiet and cheap camping place near radovljica but if anybody has any recommendations of quiet camping places anywhere in slovenia with trees and shade, let me know. and i mean anywhere. will travel for a nice camp 😊
i have a feeling the next few days are going to be spent lazily in the van, leaving only for toilet breaks and so loki can roll around on his back in the grass. i don’t want to go to some huge camping place with a billion caravans and three billion children, or close to a busy road (dog with a fear of trucks!).
poor poor lokimotion. he is accepting donations of sympathy food and also the ability to lick you in your nostrils. 👍
Well hey, happy #tongueouttuesday 😝! loki and i are relaxing in the rolling green of slovenia. so different to how dry and yellow sweden was when we left. still, i loved these photos in the wheat of skåne and hadn’t posted them yet.
today the van is getting serviced so i’m a little lost as to what to do with myself. no home, a borrowed car that i don’t feel too comfortable going very far in, and it’s still hot. so right now we’re at the camping place where we spent the night.
the car is parked beneath two huge trees, lime green leaves and dappled sunlight. my hammock is strung between them, rocked by a gentle breeze. it is warm but i’ve been sitting around in my bikini, letting go of being self conscious about my body. f**k it. who cares.
earlier we went and hired a stand up paddle board for an hour. loki spent the whole time wondering what his job was, whether he should be doing tricks yet. it would have looked d**n cute because this resulted in him staring up at me adoringly for an hour. but i knew what he wanted. he wanted a job. d**n border collies 😂😂😂
we returned to the big trees and took a nap in the hammock, lulled to sleep by the warmth and gentle swaying. waking up, loki was dry so we went back to the lake and swam together for twenty minutes.
i mentioned in a previous post about loki wearing his life jacket and feeling more comfortable just ‘hanging out’ in the water - i couldn’t get rid of him today. he swam around and around, hoping i’d throw the ball, doing laps of me, bringing me the ball in the water (usually he takes it to shore unless i grab it first). when i told him “go to shore’” he’d start going then turn around halfway and come back out. since yesterday we also started working on him taking a break by perching on my arms and catching his breath while i tread water and keep us both afloat. lucky i’m a good swimmer 😂 but even this shows how much more comfortable he’s feeling. he really was quite happy to just rest his front paws over my arm or shoulder and stop paddling, swallowing the water in his mouth, taking a breather. so proud of my brave guy 😍
This guy is looking pretty great after the accident with the horse yesterday. he’s so lucky and i’m so grateful that nothing seems to have happened.
today he was on rest anyway while i spent about 7 hours in two different ikeas and drive about 400kms. 😱 but i have a couch/bed now and plates and cutlery so it’s enough to get by. sleeping in the van tonight because the mattress cushions apparently want 72 hours of not being slept on...
plus i’m a little sad to be leaving the van.
we’ve been on a grand adventure. strange that it’s coming to an end.
plans for tomorrow:
-long sleep in.
-relax on the new couch.
-put away all the kitchen stuff.
-explore the forest.
-contact the local volunteer fire department because apparently they might be able to remove the hornets nest that’s out the front of the house 🐝🔫 (imagine that is a hornet and not a bee. i like bees)
Whoooooops. busy days mean late postings here. today we met up with @dorianandthewild and went for a walk on a cute little lake trail. loki thought dorian was quite alright and dorian was confused by why loki was swimming sometimes and loki didn’t understand the lack of border collie racing games but other than that they got along fine 😉 i always love my instagram meetups. just chatting dogs and sharing stories. it still seems funny to me that this app has brought me together with so many people on this trip.
then i travelled south and met up with some new australian-fan friends who let me wash my clothes, have a shower and fed me ice cream (these three things are a bit of van-dwelling luxury items 😂) and then we did a bit of mental training to try and sort out my head a bit and give me some new strategies for competitions. i have a few things to work on and a few things to focus on and i think after a bit of a competition break i’ll approach the next competition feeling a bit better.
tomorrow we’re either going to ‘the end of the world’ or possibly a normal forest, depending on the weather. then i’m hopping on a ferry down to denmark and wishing scandinavia a fond farewell for a while. i guess i don’t know when i’ll be back. what a strange feeling.