Helaine and I have been incredibly busy the last several weeks. We have had countless adventures, with more on the calendar! Our time together is dwindling down to a mere four months. There is one more graduation and turn in to go before it’s our turn to walk across the stage. I have found myself in a near panic thinking about all the things I have wanted to do, and haven’t done yet with my sweet yellow girl. Here’s hoping I get to cross a few more items off my “Raising Helaine” bucket list!
One of those things was a road trip to my favorite part of the state. I usually go to Eastern Washington every other month. When I go, I take the opportunity to send Helaine to a puppy sitter for the weekend. It’s a good chance for her to spend time in someone else’s home, and working under their guidance as opposed to mine. It is also a refreshing break for me, as I am able to do things without her. I love spending my days with her by my side, but everyone needs a break!
A very dear friend and I had planned a semi-spontaneous trip to Eastern Washington, in Mid-March and I knew that I wanted to bring Helaine along. We had plans to go wine tasting in Ellensburg, stay on the water at Lake Chelan, and then turn around and spend a whole day touring my favorite German town, Leavenworth. My puppy raising BFF (and PR of Helaine’s BFF) loves Leavenworth just as much (or more) than I do, and she had shared that the puppies in training are always welcome. I knew from the day I picked my girl up from the airport, that this is the one major destination I wanted to make it to with her.
We hit the road bright and early that Saturday morning. Our first stop was Ellensburg, and we drove straight there with no stops. We arrived around 2 pm and it was bright and sunny. First thing was first, it was time to grab some water and let the puppy out to stretch her legs. We then stopped at a local Fred Meyer and I spent a few minutes just working with Helaine on her commands. When we used to watch the other puppies work in class, I never imagined ever getting to that point with Helaine. She picked up all her commands quickly, but she holds them now. Her stays are solid, and her here’s are too. Helaine growing up was never part of my vision, even though I knew it was inevitable. She’s made me so proud.
We quickly made our way to the wine tasting room, where we spent a couple of hours. My friend and I chatted about everything. We have known each other for close to 10 years, we have worked together for more than half of that time, and we see each other every day, but once we get talking we just can’t stop. Helaine was on point the entire time. The lady that was overseeing our tasting experience was totally impressed and enjoyed her presence. They were incredibly welcoming and their wine was quite yummy too!
After the tasting was over, it was time to move on to our next destination. An hour long drive was in our future. Helaine did surprisingly well with the drive times. I put her dog bed in the back seat and she slept pretty much the entire way in any direction. I have been so blessed with an easy traveler!
Once in Chelan, we checked in to the hotel and made a dash to get some dinner. We found a quaint diner not far from our room and settled in for what turned out to be a less than mediocre meal. We ended the night with mini cheesecakes from Safeway, and some criminal shows on the cable TV and we fell asleep before 10 pm. I had to wake Helaine in the morning, she was so exhausted from the adventure!
Sunday morning we packed up, and began our long journey to Leavenworth. It is the coolest town EVER and it’s such a fun vacation spot. It is nestled in the mountains, and has been designed to resemble an authentic German town. They even serve authentic German food, and in the summer time a band in full costume sits in the gazebo and plays polka music. It is beautiful all year long, but I especially love it when it’s snow-covered and lit up in Christimas lights!
We poked around in each and every store they had to offer. Being a dog friendly town, no one seemed to be bothered by her presence. It was especially fun running into someone who actually knows a graduate in our chapter! It’s so fun speaking to people about Canine Companions, but it’s even more fun running into people who already know about it, and who know someone who is a part of it! The world is continuously getting smaller!
After about three or four hours meandering around the town, it was time to end our adventure and head home. She hopped in the back seat and nestled herself in her bed, fell asleep and stayed that way until I pulled into our driveway. It was an excellent experience, and I cannot wait to take her, and many more puppies there in the future!