I know I’ve mentioned before that I live in Washington State. More specifically, I live in the beautiful Skagit Valley. Most days, I really like it. It’s been my home for almost 12 years and it’s where I can always find peace and comfort. It’s particularly beautiful during the month of April, as the annual Tulip Festival begins and the hundreds of acres worth of tulip fields create a quilt of color across the valley. I had planned all week to go out to the street fair and fields with Helaine, rain or shine. Of course, I was really hoping it wouldn’t rain and I watched the forecast all week. However, I found myself cursing my home state yesterday. As I sat in my car while the rain gods dumped the wet stuff by the bucket full, I cursed this state and even uttered the words “I hate you!”. 20 minutes came and went, and the rain subsided. Thankful and apologetic, I slipped out of my car and let Helaine out to hurry. The sun began to shine and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Washington state, maybe you’re not so bad afterall.
Once Helaine was finished I waited patiently for an old friend to show up. She and I have known eachother for about 14 years. We were in 4-H together many many years ago but haven’t seen much of each other in probably eight of those years. She is currently raising for a guide dog organization based in Seattle, and has a beautiful German Shephard named Ranger. She got him as a transfer about three weeks ago and he has made a lot of progress in the short time she’s had him. She has raised for CCI in years passed and has been anxious to meet My Girl, so this was the perfect opportunity. When they arrived, we quickly began catching up and meandering up and down the street fair meeting many curious people and facing many interesting smells. Helaine wasn’t necessarily on her best behavior. While I was interested in keeping her focused and away from other dogs and off people, I was more focused on watching how she reacted to large crowds, strange sounds and dogs of all shapes, sizes and sounds. She handled everything just how I thought she would–Perfectly.
After the streetfair, we took this outing to my favorite tulip field, RoozenGaarde. They have acres of beautiful tulips, and an amazing display garden. For five whole dollars, you’re free to venture through both. Going through the tulips with my puppies is always my favorite outing ever. As I was taking a picture of Helaine, one lady said “Is there anything cuter than a puppy in the tulips?” My answer is and always will be, “I don’t think so.” We spent about an hour and a half here, and then it was time to go. At 4 1/2 hours long, it was her longest outing to date and she handled it so well. She ended up sleeping the rest of the afternoon, only waking up to go outside or eat. The girl has her priorities!
Overall, this experience was good for the both of us. Up until this passed weekend, we hadn’t experienced a massive crowd together. Neither of us really knew what we were in for. I am so thankful that I have such a confident girl who is comfortable with anything I ask of her and any situation I bring her to. We’ll return next year, and it will be incredible to see the differences between now and then. Until then though, we’re going to keep moving forward one day, and one adventure at a time!